For me the recent local elections were a bloodbath in more ways than one. On polling day I had to try to marshall the campaign from our makeshift HQ in St. John's whilst negotiating the peculiar phenomenon of a finger on my left hand which, for no obvious reason, periodically presented an upstoppable gush of blood with a velocity that rendered conventional sticking plasters singularly useless.
Over the next several weeks the small wound that this curiously gratuitous activity had generated expanded, first steadily and later rapidly, until a red, raw growth the shape of a mushroom but more resembling a small piece of finest steak burst throught the skin of my finger and took residence in such a position that made it impossible to clench my hand or to grasp objects without very considerable pain.
Having long taken the view that doctors are for wusses, I ignored the pain and inconvenience and put up with it for some time, assuming that the alien presence would tire of bothering me and disappear of its own accord. When it finally became obvious to me that it wouldn't I relented, but the locum at my local surgery had no idea what to make of it, and despatched me to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
My initial visit to SW10 took longer than it might usually have done, as the specialist whom I was eventually to see was for some time preoccupied attending to the victim of a shooting, whilst a dozen or more heavy armed police officers surrounded the hospital building to ensure that the perpetrator of the incident didn't arrive to complete his work. Then when I was seen I was told within minutes that my mystery injury, rather than being some manner of stigmata sent to confer divine recognition of my organisational talent, was in fact a pyogenic granuloma, which medical anoraks or the just plain curious can read all about here.
I was given an appointment for an operation less than 48 hours later, which I had been told would be done under general anaesthetic but was eventually performed under local anaesthetic. Before this could happen my wedding ring needed to be cut off as my finger would swell to almost twice its normal circumference during the operation, and the doctor delegated an underling seemingly trained at Dewhurst to perform the task with maximum brutality.
Since undergoing that minor ordeal I have been trying to protect several stitches which, whenever I've presented them for removal, have invariably not been quite ready. I'm due another visit to my doctor tomorrow at which I'm hoping the dirty deed will finally be done.