Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wherein I Got Stabbed In The Back

I'm not even kidding! I was literally stabbed in the back.

So, as it goes, I've always had this large pore on my back. My father has one too. At some point during my life, it decided to become a cyst. I have no actual recollection as to when this happened, but needless to say, its been there for awhile.

I kept meaning to ask my dermatologist about it, so a few weeks ago when I went in to have all of my moles checked (you've done this haven't you?! My Mom had some skin cancer removed from her face and ever since then I have become even more fanatical about sunscreen EVERY DAY.)

Anyhoo, I finally remembered this time to ask about the cyst on my back. And the dermatologist agreed, it needed to be removed. And then he measured it and commented that it was a large cyst - measuring 1 inch by 3/4 of an inch.

So, my moles all checking in as normal, I was sent home and told the surgical center would call me to schedule an appointment.

They did, I scheduled one and that was that.

I told my boss right away that I would be out for the day and what was happening. She was very nervous for me and kept commenting at how calm I was. I kept reminding her that it was no big deal and there was nothing to worry about. (Remember this, it's important later. Okay, it's not that important, but still. I had a few weeks before my appointment. Since I wasn't being put under for the surgery, I figured that meant it was no big deal.)

Wednesday, June 25th came before I knew it. The Boyfriend drove me to the surgical center and waited for me. Of course all of my calmness from the weeks before disappeared the day of the surgery. Especially when they slapped a bracelet on my wrist with my name on it. The Boyfriend made a joke that I was going to my first rave - the lady checking me in smiled, but wasn't nearly enjoying the joke as much as I was.

Here's the thing, I laugh when I'm nervous. And I was really nervous. So, The Boyfriend, being an amazingly awesome boyfriend, made jokes to help calm me down. We had a very funny back and forth conversation about a man that we decided was there to get his WHAT IS IT CALLED reversed.

Of course, the place was running a bit late. Donna (my nurse) came out and told me that they were running a bit late as the room had been over-booked and apologized. She came back out a few minutes later and brought me back to take my vitals and have me sign the consent form. Then I was sent back to the waiting room until my room was ready. During this time, Donna apologized at least 3 more times for running late, which was really nice if not unexpected from a surgical office.

About 15 minutes later my room was ready. Donna told me to disrobe and put on the lovely gown waiting for me. The Doctor came in and introduced himself (I know, weird right? I met this guy literally minutes before he cut me open.) Donna explained where I needed to lie down and such. She also commented several times that I was such a nice person and I seemed really happy. All I could think is "you're about to cut me open. Why would I be a bitch to you right now? What kind of horrible people do you deal with daily?"

The Doctor measured my cyst again - "Why this is a large cyst. It's an inch by 3/4 on an inch! Yes, this is a large one!" I really wanted to laugh to myself, I mean, I understand, he probably removes moles all day long, so I'm sure it's exciting to him to do something different, like my LARGE cyst, but still, stop telling me how large my cyst is!

So, I'm on the table, I receive lots of shots of morphine in my back and off we go. I can't even begin to tell you how absolutely creepy it is to not be able to feel what's going on in your back. Obviously I'm very appreciative that I didn't feel it, but still. I could feel him tugging, I could feel him dabbing at my back, but I couldn't feel anything else.

Now we get to the gross part. Since I've been operating under the idea that the cyst on my back was a zit, I used to get The Boyfriend to try and pop it for me. And the stuff that came out was quite awful smelling. So, you can imagine what it smelled like for the poor Doctor once he cut me open and had his face in my cyst. It was not pleasant. At one point he said "I don't know if you can smell this, but the cyst has some seepum that has a definite smell to it." I laughed.

After a few minutes it becomes apparent that the Doctor is not happy with how things are going. He explains that the cyst is larger than he expected and it really does not want to come out. Which explains the tugging. As he works harder to get the cyst out, he asks me if I want to see it once it's out, or should he just make it disappear. I of course, would LOVE to see it! I mean, come on, how often does one get the opportunity to see their cyst once removed.

This obviously surprised the Doctor a little bit, but he happily showed me the cyst once it was removed. It looked like an eyeball - white, with some red in it and very, very round.

Since the cyst was not co-operative in it's removal, the Doctor then spent some time excavating and making sure that everything was out. Then he began stitching me up. They used dissolvable stitches and then held everything together with "steri-strips", which is basically medical tape. During this part of the procedure, I kept worrying that I was suddenly going to start feeling everything. I'm always trying to be a good patient, since I know these people don't get a lot of thanks from the patients they see every day, but I was worried that I was trying to be too good of a patient, which would end with me being in a lot of pain because I didn't ask for more shots.

Finally, everything was done. The Doctor told me he was sorry he couldn't get the cyst out with a smaller incision. I told him not to worry about it, all I cared was that it was done and over with. He then bandaged me up like there was no tomorrow. I mean, I had tape on my back running from shoulder to shoulder. I was sent home with the instructions to take Tylenol for any "uncomfortableness" and not to get my back wet until Friday (2 days away!). The Doctor found it perplexing that my bandage was easily move-able, since it was between my shoulder blades, so he spent extra time making sure it wouldn't move, which meant I could barely move my arms due to the large amounts of tape on my back. But, I'm not complaining, he actually cared enough to make sure everything was right before I left the office.

So, I left with instructions in hand. "No running for at least 12 days, No getting wet until Friday, re-bandage as needed". The Boyfriend was very happy to see me, to say the least. He was shocked at how much bandaging I had on my back (as most people would be over the next few days).

Off we went home. I called my office to let my boss know that I was okay and on my way home. Once home, I emailed some friends to let them know I was home and okay - and then we ordered pizza (Papa Johns new whole wheat crust - it's AWESOME!) and I tried to figure out a comfortable way to lie down so I could take a long nap.

I'm going to stop here. I'll write more about my recovery tomorrow and hopefully find time to get my pictures in order!

2 comments:

Steve said...

Seepum? Yum! Sounds like a drink for old people.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god...pictures NOW!