Strange Tales

For some reason, there are some books that just inspire me to write, not read.  These thoughts come from one of those events.  Buckle up as I tell you a tale that I am not sure where it will go or end.

One time during a Physical, I mentioned to the Doctor that I had a lump on the muscle of my right arm.  It didn't hurt or anything, but it sure looked funny as hell when I stood in front of my mirror and made my Superman Pose.  Kind of like those arms of Popeye that bulge in places they shouldn't.   He said that he would refer me to the Surgeon in the Medical Practice  (Cotton O'Neil) just to be sure. I put it completely out of my mind for a week or so and went to the appointment.

I waited for a few minutes and was finally shown into one of the exam rooms.  I think there must be some kind of design for the doctor's offices.  In the middle there is a big metal cabinet that has a paper covered pad on top.  Along one wall there is a series of cabinets and one wall with a blood pressure cuff and an examination device to look in places to dark to see.   The doctor came in and I showed him what I considered a minor thing.  He said it was probably some kind of a fat deposit but it wouldn't hurt to see.  I expected him to say come back in a week or two and we'll cut it out.  Nope, he called in a nurse and she prepared a shot for the procedure.

I think they call it a local because it doesn't make you numb all over just where it is needed.  While the shot was numbing my arm, the nurse did some prep by laying out a cloth over the rest of my arm.  I think the Doctor was either drinking coffee or seeing one of the waiting room full of people I saw when I came in.  After about ten minutes, the Doctor reappeared and put on some rubber gloves.  He asked for a scalpel and cut me so quick that I hardly knew what he had done.  He pressed on the muscle and forced out the fat deposit and told the nurse to sent it to the lab but it looked like just a fat deposit.  He stood up off the stool he was on and told the nurse to close the arm with stitches.  She used what looked like monofilament fishing line, slapped a bandage on me and sent me out of the door. 

I guess the moral of this short story is that if you go to a surgeon, you will probably get cut on.  A week later I removed the stitches myself rather than wait three or more days to have the assistant do it.  When I called his nurse, she had me talk to the nurse that had assisted the Doctor.  Yes, the arm is healing nicely and there is no infection.  Good, end of story.

One day I was having my teeth cleaned by the Hygienist for my Dentist.  She is a really sweet person and manages to hurt the hell out of me but I go back for some strange reason.  There must be some masochist in there some where.  When she had my teeth cleaned and she had flossed with what felt like clothes line rope, she asked one of the Dentists in the Practice to examine her job.  Normally my Dentist does that but this time he was either playing golf or visiting one of his rural practices.  This time I had a female Dentist look at the X-rays and then into my mouth.  Just as she finished, she said how long have you had this growth on your face?  Right below my left eye was a red spot that had just been getting larger over the years.  I told her that I had no idea.  She told the hygienist to make me an appointment with the Plastic Surgeon and an oral surgeon for a patch on the inside of my cheek.  I went as soon as I could get in.

The surgeon took one look at the growth, pitched me the fact that he could do an eye job while he was in there at a discounted rate and told me that it would be at the Topeka Same Day surgery at 7:45 the next Tuesday.    I told him that I looked as old as I am and just didn't think I needed the extra procedure.  OK, go home and be early next week.

I didn't have a clue what was going to happen but I showed up anyway.  They put me in this funny gown and gave me a shot.  I remember being helped onto a table and a bright light being shined in my eyes.  A while later, I woke up and noticed my face had a big bandage under one eye.  They helped me dress and I went home.  No big deal, and I was told to keep it cleaned and to put Vaseline on it for a few days.  I was told to come back to the doctor's office and I did.

When I went to the Doctor's office, I noticed a lot of people there that were going to have some procedure or the other.  All I wanted was for the assistant to take the stitches out and for them to send me home.  When the Doctor came in, he was serious as hell.  He told me that he had screwed up and the growth was cancer.  He did not have the pathology lab standing by and he was going to have to go back in and do a deep tissue biopsy to make sure he had it all.  I swear that I went numb and the only thing I remembered that he scheduled me for the repeat of the same procedure in a month or so later. 

I won't bore you with the facts of that procedure.  I will tell you that it was a repeat of what I wrote in the preceding paragraphs.  The only difference was this time when he took the stitches out he said it was all clear now. 

 The oral surgeon was scheduled to do a biopsy of a patch on the inside of my cheek that was a dry rough place caused by years if smoking a pipe.  They prepped me and the dentist said screw the biopsy, I am going to remove the whole patch.  He did and he took off a place about the size of a nickel.  A couple of stitches and I was sent home.  The report of that was it was not cancer and it hasn't bothered me since. 

What I really want you to take away from this, is that I don't remember the pain or any suffering.  It is kind of like how I feel about my time in Vietnam.  I remember a lot of the details and people but have blocked out the panic, fear or any pain.  Time will heal all wounds or perhaps time will wound all heels.  Oh well,


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