Curses! Boiled Again

January 12, 2006

Warning: Personal grooming and hygiene discussed ahead.

Maybe three years ago I developed a rather large boil, a carbuncle, on my left cheek. It grew fairly quickly and ended up being about the size of a nickel. With Michele's help draining it, some hot compresses, and antiseptic cream we were able to reduce it and clear it up after about two weeks of work.

About two weeks ago I developed another boil, this one about three inches below my left arm, almost on my back. I can see it in the mirror, and sort of see it directly. This is one of those times when I used to be able to lean on Michele to deal with what I can't reach or easily clean myself. Going to the doctor for what is basically a zit, albeit a large and painful zit, seemed to be over-reacting.

Over the past couple of days I have applied heat and managed to bring it up to a head and drained it partial both times. The compression required to drain it aggravates the tissue and makes it quite sore. I haven't lanced it yet (you try stabbing yourself with a needle) but if it doesn't go down on its own soon, that is the next step.

My relationship with Michele was varied and complex, existing on multiple levels and encompassing vast emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and physical territory. What I miss right now is her steady hand and willingness to deal with the various physical grooming chores that crop up as our bodies age.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.