Friday, March 25, 2016

One Stitch

TGIALW.  (Thank God It's A Long Weekend.)  This week was...  I can't even.  Dentist appointment.  Angry clients at work yelling at me, followed by angry staff yelling at each other.  Step-dad-generated unnecessary drama: two incidents, on Wednesday and Thursday.  Generally depressing weather following by an ice storm.  Hormones.  Existential angst.  Etc.

Alongside all that, I had my annual, dermatological mole check.

**If you are LL Cool Joe, you are officially excused from reading the rest of this post, as it contains some medical details which could give you the heebie jeebies.  Everyone else will probably be okay; it's not super-gross.**

I have never minded going for my mole check, because there's nothing to it.  Show up, put on a paper gown, get looked over by the nice lady doctor, get dressed, and go home.  No injections, no blood draws, nothing invasive or embarrassing.  Until this time, obviously.

Last year she took a photo of a funky mole on my left arm that's shaped like a donut.  This year it had gotten a little darker.  She looked at it through a magnifier and pronounced that it looked "completely fine", but that she'd like to take it off just to be safe.

"Lie down on your right side, and I'll grab my sharpest knife so that I can gouge that sucker out of your skin right now."  I am paraphrasing, but that's the essence of what she said.

What could I do?  People have died of melanoma on both sides of my family.  When the dermatologist tells me that she wants to cut me, I'd better go along with the plan.  Dammit.

It didn't hurt.  I got a local freezing, and after that I couldn't feel a thing.  That didn't stop me from having an anxiety attack, because that's just how I roll.*  The doctor was super-sweet to me.  She put a cold cloth on my forehead, got me a cup of water, and patted my leg maternally.  When I continued to shake, sweat, and hyperventilate, she asked her just-as-nice receptionist to come and keep me company so that she could move on to her next patient.  The receptionist gave me cookies, and did a great job of distracting me from myself so that I could settle down.

*I did warn the doctor, before she even gave me the local freezing, that I might go faint on her because of my medical phobia.  It's not within my control once I get triggered, but at least she had fair warning.  I do what I can with soothing self-talk, but I can only prevail for so long against my hyper-terrified subconscious and clearly very effective adrenal glands.

I survived, finally got my act together, and fled the office, with instructions to get the stitch removed in ten days.  The teeny-tiny wound isn't sore unless I accidentally knock it against something.

Now I am minus one dot, which is weird.  All my life I have been accumulating brown spots.  I have never lost one before.  I wonder if my arm will look significantly different to me without it.  RIP dot! You will be missed.


Abby said...

I had a mole removed from my left arm years ago - sounded much like the same procedure you had. My dr. explained it would be like removing a cork from a wine bottle, and it was all over within seconds. I didn't get any cookies, just the stitches. Sorry you have sensitivities, I would think they would maybe offer you something to take the edge off?

Sparkling Red said...

A shot of vodka might have been helpful. ;-) But more seriously, I am a pain-in-the-butt to have as a patient, because not only do I have anxiety attacks, I also don't get along well with the most common chill pills a.k.a. benzodiazepines. Valium makes my heart race. Imovane makes me so dizzy that I can't move my head without feeling that the whole world is spinning. All other things being equal, it's just as easy to let my panic attack run its course; it'll be over pretty quickly.

Granny Annie said...

And you named it Dot? Ha, ha, ha,...

Ginny said...

I just went for my skin check. Being super pale with lots of freckles and some moles I'd rather be on the safe side. My dermatologist said she could tell I use sun screen and to keep up the good work *pats self on pasty white back*

Lynn said...

I had to have cancerous growth gouged out of my leg (just above the ankle.) That was two years ago - it was like having a gunshot wound. :) I feel your pain and angst!

DarcKnyt said...

You poor thing. I can relate, completely. My neck area is covered in little gross and sometimes dark skin tags. I don't know whence they came, and don't know how to get rid of them, but when I had my loving spouse slice one off with a razor blade a couple of times, the pain was horrid and I bled like a slaughtered hog. UGH.

I'm glad you're okay now, and YAY for cookies and nice people!

Jenski said...

I'm not too squeemish, but almost passed out when I had to get stitches in my hand once. It was the weird feeling of pulling but without pain thanks to whatever they numbed it with that just made me feel faint for some reason?! I also passed out when my mom took out my starter earrings...right into the sink. Hahaha. May I should try the vodka thing when I will have a non-painful procedure?