« Tuesday 200 - #64 | Main | E is for Elephant »

Under His Skin

About a year ago I noticed a flat, white mark on Larry’s back — a little bigger than a quarter, a little smaller than a 50p (see how I generous I am, scaling things for both sides of the pond). It looked a little like a bite, a little like a blister, a little like a scar. Weird.

“Does it hurt?”


“You should get that looked at.”

Being manly, he did not.

A few months ago, I noticed it was getting bigger. And there was a brownish red corona expanding around it.

“You really should should get that looked at.”

Being well-adjusted, he decided to wear t-shirts to bed so I couldn’t see it anymore and wouldn’t let me look when I asked. He finally went in for an MOT a while back and got referred to a dermatologist, who took a biopsy and told him not to worry.

The biopsy results came in and the doctor ordered more blood tests. Maybe he should worry after all. Possibility of Lyme disease, which would be ironic since the closest Larry gets to the country is Hyde Park and the closest he’s been to deer (known carriers of ticks) is the reindeer we ate in Norway.

Now then, for every ounce of manliness that exudes in the cocktail of our staid Canadian friend, there is an equal part of underlying, albeit carefully masked, neurosis. And so, ever so secretively, he began his Internet research of Lyme disease.

Yup … that’s the diagnosis. Fatigue. Nausea. Tingling in the joints. Headaches. Inability to concentrate. He had it and he had it bad.

He was destined to 2-4 weeks of intensive intravenous antibiotic therapy (which may or may not work), quietly hoping that it could be administered while laying on a beach in Mauritius. All we had to do was wait for the confirmation. There’s only one lab in the world that can properly diagnose this disorder, and his blood had to be shipped out to Seattle or somewhere equally exotic.

We waited for four weeks for the results to come in (and the specialist to return from holiday). Yesterday he got the news.


So what’s the spot on his back, he asked the doctor. “Sometimes you just get an infection and it leaves a scar and you never know.” And that’s why, ladies and gentlemen, they call it ‘practicing’ medicine.

And as for all his other Internet-confirmed symptoms? Well, I guess we’re just chalking it up to old age.

Which, as of today, we can add one more year to. So Happy Birthday to Larry. And well done on not having Lyme disease. Can we still go to Mauritius?

We’re going out for Mexican tonight and will, no doubt, have at least a few margaritas.

The diagnosis for tomorrow’s symptoms will most likely be Lime disease.