i biked to the cafe this morning to fix the webcam and to learn from my 2nd aunt how to call long distance to taiwan using a chinese phone card. my aunt told me that the nurse who came to give my great uncle a bath noticed a boil on his leg below his right butt cheek. when my aunt went to go talk to my great uncle about it, he said he'd wait a day and see what happens. when we called my parents, we didn't tell them about my great uncle because we didn't want them to needlessly worried. i returned home.
before i had a chance to settle down, my aunt frantically called me from the cafe to let me know that my great uncle was in so much pain he couldn't even walk and needed to see a doctor right away. normally my father takes care of my great uncle, but because my parents are on vacation, i've been entrusted with this duty. so i rushed back to the cafe to investigate. in my hurried state, i narrowly missed crashing my bike twice, once where i rear-ended a parked car (had to use my hand to brace myself), the second time veering dangerously into the street with oncoming traffic. i really need to fix the brakes on that ross bike!
my great uncle was at the cafe when i arrived. just from touching outside his pants i could feel the large lump on his right cheek. i called the clinic and was surprised to be able to make an appointment for this afternoon at 2:30 (i thought i'd have to go to emergency room). since it was only 12:30, i told my great uncle i'd be back at 2:00 to take him to the see the doctor.
in the meantime, i had to bike to belmont to retrieve the car. i then drove back to my place where i had a bowl of new dulce de leche cheerios.
i returned to the cafe earlier than scheduled to find my great uncle already waiting. since it was still too early, we waited until 2:00 before leaving. my great uncle walked slower than usual from the pain and took a while to get into the higher platform of the honda element. pulling into the parking lot of the cambridge harvard vanguard practice, i was getting ready to pay when the attendant told me it was free for senior citizen patients.
after the nurse took the usual readings (pulse, temperature, blood pressure), she asked if a shadowing medical student could observe and i said no. after she left, my great uncle changed into a hospital gown and took off his shoes and pants. that's when i got a chance to see what was eating him: a boil about 2" in diameter in the fold between his butt check and his thigh, with a penny-sized purplish-black dot. when the doctor came in, he took one look and knew what had to be done, which was to lance the boil. he said there wasn't any inflammation so a simple lancing should solve the problem. he stepped out to get the supplies.
the doctor came back with the nurse to assist. she and i helped my great uncle crawl onto the top of the examination bed lying face down. i looked down and saw blood running down his leg. the boil had ruptured on its own! the doctor still shot up my great uncle with some topical anesthetic because he still needed to squeeze out any remaining fluid. i put my hand on my great uncle's back to comfort him. even with the lidocaine, every once in a while he'd flinch from the pain. when it all done the doctor put a band-aid on the wound. the nurse and i helped my great uncle back down.
"it doesn't hurt anymore!" my great uncle exclaimed as i helped him get dressed. as we left the house he even seemed to be walking faster than before. instead of the elevator, he said he'd take the stairs. i went ahead to the pharmacy to pick up his antibiotic prescription. we still have to come back on friday afternoon for a follow up just to make sure the boil is healing okay.
after delivering my great uncle to the cafe, i dropped off the car back in belmont. my sister and the dog were home. i then biked back to cambridge. all this recent driving and biking has left me in a daze. it was good to be back at home and not have to do anything.
the smell of cooking oil was still strong inside the house. since the weather was so warm outside (officially boston hit 62°F today) i opened a few windows to aerate. i also burned incense in several rooms. after all that work, i could still smell the oil.
my roommate came home around 6:45. he was about to cook some instant noodles for dinner (apparently no oily cooking for tonight) when i intercepted him and said how would he like to sample some italian-american cuisine in the form of risotto? he was game, so i quickly whipped up a batch. my roommate helped out with chopping the garlic and later stirring while i cleaned up the dishes. cooking together gave us a chance to do more talking. although he's an only child, both his parents are from 4-children families. he's also never had fast food before, whether it's KFC or macdonald's. the bike that he's borrowing (which i haven't seen yet) is his friend's $200 bike (which i've seen before); it's only a loaner and he wants to get a bike of his own eventually.
we ate in the living room for the very first time. he said the risotto was good. afterwards he stuck around and chatted some more. i learned that he's into french cinema, and even tried to teach himself french using rosetta stone. even though he confessed to not watching a lot of television, he has seen many episodes of the big bang theory, which is this monster hit in china. besides the harmonica which he's currently learning, he also plays the ocarina. i noticed he had a kindle as well and we talked about books we like reading. he's currently working on thus spoke zarathustra by nietzsche. he retired by 9:00, feeling sleepy.