Tuesday, 23 December: Lump is now red and visible. Two other infected hair follicles visible on the same arm. Call Medical Officer to make appointment for next day. Apply warm compress with microwave wash cloth in zip-lock bag. Is not cutting it.
Wednesday, 24 December: Lump is obviously a boil. See medical officer and get to experience traffic in Apia on Christmas Eve (outrageous, all rental cars in the country are out, this is not exaggeration, it is verified fact) while driving to chemist to pick up Bactroban and hot water bottle. Go home, apply warm compress and Bactroban. Discover it is very tricky to apply warm compress to armpit. Much easier when boils are on butt, can simply sit on hot water bottle. Sara takes her last shower for several days. Armpit is now so swollen arm must be held up in air at all times.
Thursday, 25 December: Armpit is now extremely swollen and extremely painful. Sara will not be able to put her arm down at her side again for the foreseeable future. Elaborate arm propping and warm compress applying towel, pillow and stuffed "footy" (football) towers are constructed to keep arm elevated and boil warm. Benefits of keeping horrible, painful, ugly boils warm are questioned. Medical science is questioned. Only locatable course of action for boils is warm compress. What the heck is warm compress? Doctors can do heart transplants and make monkeys move mechanical arms with their minds, cannot offer any solution to boils other than keep it nice and warm, maybe knit it a sweater.
Friday, 26 December: Sara sits in a chair and cries. Shoulder hurts from keeping arm up. Bicep hurts from keeping arm up. Hips and back hurt from fitful sleeping on piss-poor mattress in uncomfortable position because she cannot put arm down at side or in other useful positions. Oh, and hideous, red angry boil hurts a great deal as well. Unable to stand it anymore, boil is poked with sterilized safety pin. Green and brown gooey pus pumps out of hole like someone turned a faucet on. It is incredibly disgusting and incredibly awesome. Sara experiences limited relief as pressure decreases. Sara and Cale switch bedrooms in housesitting house to one with firmer mattress. Sara sort of sleeps. Begin boil drainage every four hours.
Saturday, 27 December: Boil continues to pump out goo. Sara feels "better" (not really better, but better in comparison). Cale goes out with friends. Sara feels nauseated and briefly has low-grad fever (maybe, these one time plastic thermometers in medical kit are confusing. Diagram explaining how to read results requires degree in rocket science). Sara eats, nausea goes away as does fever. Feels better enough to spend night toning pictures from Cale's mom's visit. Cale returns from night out with friends. Brings friends with him. Friend insists all will be healed if Sara tapes piece of salted bread to armpit. Skeptical Sara does not tape salted bread to armpit. Instead goes to bed. Wakes up to discover piece of salted bread left on kitchen counter over night.
Sunday, 28 December: Goo levels decrease, but boil is still swollen and obviously full. Sara convinced that access to scalpel would significantly help the boil goo removal process. Sara also mentioned chopping off entire arm as reasonable solution. Sara continually states her lack of credentials to be good prisoner of war. Would tell captors anything they want to know as long as they don't make her deal with pain for indeterminate amounts of time. Sara texts medical officer to share her scalpel idea (and apologizes for bothering her on Sunday). Medical officer has Sara come to office. Looks at boil. Recommends Sara see doctor on Monday to have it excised with use of local anesthetic. Sara is given antibiotics. Sara loves antibiotics. Sara showers for first time since Wednesday.
Monday, 29 December: Most awesome day ever. Sara filled with giddy sense of accomplishment and joy. Early morning goo drain reveals solid lump in boil. Sara yanks it out with tweezers. It is large. Three times larger than anything Cale pulled out of previous butt boils. Removal is painful. However, relief after removal is instantaneous and joyous. Sara calls medical officer to cancel doctor appointment. Spends rest of day fondly remembering giant solid goo removal and feels like person again. Does things people do. Lowers arm to something closer to side. Eats lunch with friend. Not cry all day. People things.
Tuesday, 30 December: With effort, can lower arm to side. However, left to its own devices, arm does not want to go all the way to side. Sara sleeps through night (with exception of early morning rooster that needs to die) for first time since Tuesday. Boil no longer gives off any goo and has been down graded from gauze taped to armpit, to simple covering of two Band-Aids. Sara does one armed-exercises in morning, considers doing other things than lay around house all day. This causes Cale great joy.