A couple of weeks back I had an itch. A common place, everyday itch at a not so important spot on my leg. So, obviously, I scratched it and watched a tiny little red bump appear. All normal, everyday events, you might say. By nightfall it had a white head and I cursed and shook my fist angrily at it. A couple of days went by with it becoming angrier looking and gaining in size. I was having a gala time celebrating the mid-week break India's independence earned us and gave it a little lotion. The next day, it started hurting and emanating heat. I knew it was an infection and could possibly spread but acting on my 'no-bacteria-can-harm-me' arrogance, I washed down a pain killer and went to sleep. During this whole ordeal, I had for company a bunch of well-wishers who kept pestering me to see a doctor. Of course my reply to that was always two yeahs and a nod with an inward gladness for having caring people around. But, after a couple of days of pestering, I semi-acquiesced by calling up my mother and giving her an account of the now rapidly expanding wound. She gave me some advice and prescribed medicine, asking me to further visit a doctor whenever I get a day off from work. So, I started the medication and also took to cleaning and dressing the wound, only too glad to have the medico genes kick in. The infection was getting contained and the pain had disappeared, I was so happy on having saved myself on costly consultations. Then Nature unleashed it's fury. I was sitting in office one day when 'it' gave me the impression of being on fire. It burnt and when I removed the bandage to check, the skin was indeed discolored. I'd only applied savlon to it and covered it up, an act, my doctor told me later, that would've worked on an ordinary wound but not on an infected one. The pain I experienced this time was enough for me to pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor.
It is not everyday that a twenty two year old, independent woman staying away from home gets a scolding. So, when the MD, after patiently listening to my story, put his pen down and looked at me squarely before delivering me a sermon on 'how could you neglect yourself so?' He injected me with a local anesthetic and cleaned out the wound. It was deep, around a inch and half into my flesh and equally wide in diameter. It took me six days to gather the courage to look at it. A literal hole in my leg. Every second day I had to visit him to get it cleaned, stuffed with medicine and bandaged. And oh god, did the whole procedure hurt!
Today, at the end of the second week (it's been fifteen days since my first visit and it still hasn't closed up), all DIY doctor-giri has left my system. No matter now innocent looking the cut or infection or wound may be, I am visiting a professional straightaway. There are only a few things in life that can never be compromised upon, health being on top of the list. No matter what the expense or discomfort involved, it is always better to get professional advice before you end up damaging yourself. The professional always knows better and it never hurts to get some help.
An apple a day isn't always enough to keep the doctor away.