Sarah has two sock monkeys that she received as a gift from Jilly, my friend in England about three or four years ago, after Jerry died. When she got them she just loved them and played with them a lot. Then she grew bored and they ended up in the toy box. Because of their special nature, I put them in a safe place. Off and on she'd play with them for a bit and then forget them again.
They're rather calm about it, as if they know Sarah's quixotic nature when it comes to toys. She never discards them permanently, each one has a name and a turn to enjoy her company. She decides when that will be.
On Wednesday, Sarah brought in her green sock monkey and said, "Mawmaw, I think he has leprosy. Can you please fix him?"
I was briefly speechless. I looked at her, laughed and said, "Leprosy! What are you talking about."
She held him up and said, "See, he's got leprosy. Would you fix him?"
One look and I realized that she was fairly accurate in her diagnosis. The green guy's left arm was falling off and his tail was in serious trouble as well.
I looked at Sarah and remembered that some time ago, and I can't remember how long it was, I'd had this conversation with someone about leprosy and that you could catch it from eating armadillos. Sarah was present and overheard me. I remembered her asking what is leprosy. I told her it was a disease that causes nerve damage and explained the loss of fingers and other body parts as a result of it.
I examined the patient and agreed that, indeed he had leprosy. I gathered my instruments and prepped the patient. Surgery took about 30 minutes. Recovery was rapid indeed and the newly renamed Socky was released to his keeper.
Today, he is very busy. He, his brother/sister, and Sarah are involved in some sort of adventure in one corner of the living room. I've heard the word 'jungle' and am a bit concerned about the recurrence of the leprosy. Still, I suspect Sarah will keep an eye on them and report if there is any indication of a relapse. My instruments are nearby and I am certain we can repair any damage.
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