I am now the Bride of Frankenstein. I didn't go to work today and I'm supposed to remain off my feet for as much as possible the next four days. So, no work. Surgery sick leave. Yes, Constant Reader, I got minor surgery today. An amazing new experience for me. Too bad I had to wake up so darned early for it.
The following content might be graphic and if things like blood or surgery or anything like that, this is a warning that these topics will be covered in this entry. Continue onward at your own risk!
I had an appointment with the dermatologist at 7:30 in the morning. Ridiculously early, in my opinion. Last time I went there, I was shocked at how many people there were already in the waiting room. I figured it probably was a fluke and that today, it would be much quieter and calmer. Oh, was I mistaken.
It was even busier than last time. I couldn't believe it. My mom pointed out to me that, as a dermitologist, he can easily and quickly diagnosed conditions. Patients are sent to him for specific conditions and not for general checkups like my typical doctors, so diagnosis and treatment are all fast and furious. It's not like my heart doctor that I spend hours with at a time, doing this test or that test and can-you-please-run-on-this-treadmill-for-several-minutes test. It's a "let's look at ya, poke you a little and schedule your next appointment for treatment". I took a busines card today just to check that there was only one doctor at this location. I thought there might be two with so many patients...
No such luck. Just one doctor. Wow.
I brought Neuromancer by William Gibson to read as a distraction. I need something to keep my mind off the fact that I was going to get this bump removed from my leg. I'm not sure if I've told you about it before, Constant Reader, but I've got this large bump on my leg that has been bothering me for the past few months. Actually, past several months. I haven't been paying any attention to it until recently, when all the members of my family expressed seriousness about getting it looked at. So, I caved in and went to my doctor that referred me to this dermatologist that saw me for less than ten minues and told me the options. I could ignore it and it might go away... or I could get it removed because there was a chance that it could get infected. The likelihood that it is something malignant is very rare, but by taking it out, they could biopsy it and from there we could determine next steps. I decided to take it off, just to appease everyone inolved.
The nurse called me in (after waiting for half an hour) and I took off my skirt and put on a surgical robe. The nurse told me that I would be getting stitches and I would need to make an appointment in a few weeks to take them out. Here's some stitching aftercare. Read it and if you have any questions, let them know. Woah. I didn't intend to get stitches and this was the first time I was hearing about it. This got me quite nervous and excited. I was going to get stitches! Woo!
I lay on the table and awaited for the doctor. He came in, all chipper, took a quick feel on my leg, cleaned it, and marked it with a marker. He then took two needles filled with anaethesia and proceeded to pump it into my leg. That hurt. I quickly opened Neuromancer and buried my face in it. This was probably the worst part of the procedure, getting poked repeatedly with the needle and having him move it around inside my leg. After he was done, I looked down to see my lump, now appearing swollen with blood trickling from the places where the doctor injected the anaesthesia. I felt almost detached from my leg. Like it wasn't mine. The doctor said that he was going to wait ten minutes for the anaesthesia to set in before going on... and he left me alone.
I kept looking at my leg, the blood streaming down it. It looked kinda cool. The ten minutes was interminable (I approximate it to being close to 15 or 20 minutes) and I kept myself occupied with reading. Then he came back in and the next few minutes were extremely surreal.
He sat down, picking up the scalpel and started cutting into my leg. When he touched my leg, I recognized that there was pressure on my leg but the exact placement of the pressure was vague. It was strange seeing him cut into my leg because I saw his sawing back and forth motion of the scalpel but felt nothing. Nothing but a generalized pressure. Next thing I knew, he was putting down the scalpel and picking up a tweezers. He opened a little specimen jar and started digging into my bump. I could see trickles of blood run down my leg, but didn't feel them until they touched the rear part of my leg which wasn't numb.
He started picking out tissue. It looked fatty and adipose-y. I felt like I was back in college biology class, dissecting an unpreserved rat (that was my favorite dissection in college. The rest of the class had preserved rats and I eagerly volunteered to dissect the unpreserved one so my dissection was quite bloody and the structures were quite distrinct and "natural" in appearance compared to the shriveled up structures my classmates were looking at). He was really picking at it, pulling out bits of stringy tissue and putting it in the specimen cup. Watching him was like watching surgery on TLC, but it was on my leg... but it didn't feel like my leg since I couldn't feel it. Very surreal. I bled a bit, but not a lot, so I thought it was all very strange. I suppose with that much digging, I expected a lot more accompanying blood.
After a while, he put down the tweezers and picked up a stitching needle. I had a little crater in my leg by now, with tiny flaps of skin overhanging the crater. He hooked tissue in my leg and tied a few stitches internally. I assume that those are the stitches the nurse told me earlier were dissolving. He then got dark blue string and stitched the outside together with four stitches, the nurse assisting him by cutting the string after he tied and secured my skin together. He then applied some ointment to it and stamped a bandaid on it with lots of gauze. He mopped up the blood, took off his gloves to shake my hand and informed me that I should be back in about a week and a half to get the stitches removed. Pip pip! Good show! And off he went to his next patient.
I got off the table, put on my skirt, and tested my weight on my leg. I couldn't feel a thing and I worried about what it would be like once the anaesthesia wore off. I hobbled out of the office, paid my copay, and left with my mom.
Throughout the day, I kept popping the tylenol, afraid of the pain of post-minor surgery. I didn't take any in the evening and a soreness came to my wound, but it was minor. A dull pain and not the sharpness of getting cut. I took a peek.
Four stitches in a row. I thought it looked outrageously cool. I felt kind of like the Bride of Frankenstein with the stitches. My mom told me that getting them out is annoying.
Creepily, I can't wait.