The Hacker: Right arm like Popeye prevents me from having a swell old time

My Christmas golf was disturbed by a couple of slight calamities. Having been unable to play in our Boxing Day cross-country event, I put my name down for the Egg Cup on Thursday.

This is a Stablefordcompetition involving teams of four drawn at random from those who enter. This year there were 48 of us, and the three landed with me were cheerful and accommodating chaps, which is just as well.

I particularly wanted to play because I was expecting a new club for Christmas and, sure enough, I was rewarded with a Wilson Fybrid 5 with a 27-degree loft which is the equivalent of an 11 wood. I would like to report how it went but I can't because I left it at home. This caused almost as much consternation to me as it did to my lady friend who I'd been nagging for months to buy it for me.

What I did take to the course that morning, however, was a right arm that had become slightly swollen just before Christmas but had gained considerably in size by the time Thursday dawned.

I did consider pulling out but I'd already paid my 12.50 entrance fee, which included sausages and mash and was non-refundable.

Although the arm didn't hurt it was stiff and uncomfortable, but it didn't stop me scoring a respectable 16 points over the front nine.

My companions, Brian, Peter and Geoff, were all scoring better than that, so a tidy team score was in the offing, particularly if I could make maximum use of all the shots I was getting.

But the activity caused the arm to balloon even more, and my score on the back nine was a miserable eight points. When I took my sweater off afterwards and displayed my arm around the bar, I was surrounded by sympathisers who immediately christened me Popeye.

I've never had such a good excuse for a bad round, and everyone urged me to see a doctor immediately.Unfortunately, there wasn't an appointment available until the following morning, so I stayed for the festivities.

When I showed the bulging arm to my doctor on Friday morning, she called to her colleague next door to come and have a look. "You've never seen an arm like it," she said.

After adding a touch of the exotic to their day, I was sent off to attract even more curiosity at the hospital, where bafflement reigned while test after test on my general health came back positive. The consultant concluded there was a blockage somewhere. Blood was getting into the arm OK but was slow getting out of it, and he sent me for an ultrasound examination on my shoulder.

After a thorough journey around my blood vessels, the operator located a clot with a triumphant cry to her colleague to come and check it.

The plan now is to thin the blood and reduce the size of the clot so that normal service can be resumed. Meanwhile, said the doc, I can carry on as usual.

"Will I be able to play golf?"I asked.

"Yes, of course you will,"he answered.

"That's great, I couldn't play before," I should have said. But I decided these noble people get a difficult enough time without daft jokes.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss