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Just A Flesh Wound

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Yesterday I made my first-ever trip to a dermatologist, but don't worry: I have no scary medical traumas to relate this time. (Yay!) I was still ridiculously nervous, though, since doctor's offices just have that affect on me, and also because I knew they were going to be cutting things off my body. o.0 (Just a few small moles, but still...)

Happily the nurse who brought us back was super awesome, and we chattered away about tattoos and superheroes and how much she liked my pink cat necklace, so like most things in life, it was the waiting that was the worst part.

Well, except maybe getting stabbed in the back with a needle. That and the waiting are about tied for the worst.


Here, I took a picture of my necklace. Cute, right? I think this was my first Etsy purchase ever, like a million years ago.


John was there in the room with us, of course, and when the nurse left so I could get undressed he helpfully started unfolding the paper "smock" she left for me to wear. Except it wouldn't unfold, and it was this weird 2-ply thing, and it just. kept. ripping. After a few moments I tried to help, since at that point I was mostly naked and getting a little chilly, but I only succeeded in making about three more arm holes in the thing. (!!)

Cut to another minute later, and we're both giggling helplessly like guilty schoolkids as I clutch a giant wadded-up ball of tissue paper to my chest. "Find another one!" I hissed between giggles. So John starts searching through the drawers and cabinets, and I'm watching the door like a jewel thief, and then John gets curious and tips over the Nitrogen blow torch thingie on the counter which immediately starts hissing out gas and I'm like "I CAN'T TAKE YOU ANYWHERE" but then he found another smock so it was all good.

During the exam I discovered another advantage to being a hermit night-owl blogger: my skin never sees the sun. The words "perfect" and "Snow White" were used, guys. For realz. The doc was so proud I almost felt guilty explaining it's more from poor social habits than actual skin care. ;)

The nurse used straight lidocaine in my numbing shots, since the epinephrine they normally include triggers almost instantaneous panic attacks. (Epinephrine is adrenaline, so no surprise there.) That's fine - lidocaine numbs everything up perfectly, but - Fun Fact! - it turns out the epinephrine is what stems a lot of the bleeding.

Have I mentioned yet that John doesn't do well with the sight of needles or blood? And that he was in the room? And that my paper smock wasn't *nearly* absorbent enough?

Poor guy. Thank goodness there was a chair in the room, though of course it was facing the table I was on. John sat and looked at the wall while the doctor was cutting, but he had to stay seated 'til long after the bloody smock and table cover were whisked away, and they'd wiped all the smears off my arms and I was bandaged and dressed again. He kept asking (while not looking) how I was doing during the few minutes the doc was cutting, while the nurse kept warning him he better not faint on her, which prompted me to ask how *he* was doing. I'm not sure who was more worried about who, to be honest, or who deserved more concern, for that matter. Ha!

I love that we're such a mess together.

Anyway, the BEST part came after John and I left the office and were taking the elevator down to the car. A dignified-looking elderly couple got in the elevator with us, with the woman facing John from one side. We spent a moment in the usual uncomfortable elevator silence, and then just before the doors opened, she said in a small, shocked voice, "Oh...oh WOW."

I had no idea what had distressed her, and so was even more confounded when John started apologizing. "Oh, ha! Sorry about that," he said, looking pained. "Sorry." We were walking away, and he was still calling back over his shoulder, "Sorry!"

I looked at John for an explanation, and then - and ONLY then - realized which t-shirt he'd chosen to wear that day:


 That's my hubby.

And now I really want to know what that lady thought his shirt was about.


(The shirt is from Woot, btw, and I just found out you can still order it. Now I'm tempted to order one in my size. Heh.)

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Technical Note: WHOOPSIE.  Comments were down there for a few hours, but they should be working again now. Thanks for your patience, guys!

Posted by Jen at 9:04 PM Labels: , ,

38 comments:

  1. Hey Jon and Jen this is a great feel free to ignore this.

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  2. This is so funny! and wonderful - love how you guys support each other and just do life together :-)

    Nata

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  3. Please, tell me how you keep your necklace chain untarnished!

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    1. Not sure about others, but oddly enough, toothpaste has always worked the best for me for cleaning jewelry.

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    2. That's a newish chain, so I'm afraid I have no secrets to share. (Altho I do love my jar of dip-in silver cleaner. Works like a charm!)

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  4. Doctors and needles and blood and creepy waiting rooms. :( I empathize with you! I laughed out loud at the idea of John rooting through drawers looking for paper gowns. Ha! My personal demon is the dentist office. Last time I got a needle to freeze my mouth, I actually cried a little bit when the dentist left the room while it "took". I don't think she noticed when she came back. I hope.

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    1. The dentist gets to me, too. Even just regular cleanings stress me out. It took me years to finally work up the courage to ask the hygienist not to floss my teeth because they always hurt me so much it's hard not to cry. (I floss daily anyway, so they were totally fine with it.)

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  5. Totally love this story and understand the interesting dynamic of being the injured one worrying about the hubby who doesn't do well with blood. (You guys are too cute, BTW!) My first Thanksgiving after I got married I cut my finger on a mandoline slicer (always wear a kevlar or stainless steel woven glove when using one of those suckers) and while the doctor was looking at the wound, so was my husband. Until he passed out. They were ready to discharge me but were threatening to keep him overnight for observation until my mother-in-law promised she would drive us home and watch us all night. In reality she knew the blood was what caused the passing out, drove us to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled, made sure we were okay and then brought us back to pick up his car and followed us back to the house. Memories... though I didn't get a trip to Disney after cutting my finger. Darn living in Rhode Island. (And I really hope Winter Storm Nemo just keeps swimming, by the way. I've no desire to get buried under this snow. Can I visit and go to Disney with you guys? LOL)

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  6. My husband has the same shirt. He saves it for special occasions like this too.

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  7. What an accommodating, friendly doctor's office. I'm glad it was a good experience overall. You guys are just adorable.

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  8. Heh - this is a great story Jen, the love you two have for each other really shines through. Here's to a speedy healing on those flesh wounds! ;)

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  9. Oh man, I hear you on the epi shots. I totally freak out, just can't handle it :( I started getting the non-epi shots at the dentist and have discovered that the numbing doesn't last as long. So now I'm really torn between my desire to not hyperventalate and cry like a 2-year old in front of grown professionals and my desire to not feel power tools in my mouth...

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  10. Glad it turned out to be not-so-traumatic! Here's Calvin and Hobbes link in honor of your smocktastrophe: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1992/06/23

    (In case the link doesn't post, I've put it in as my url too.)

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  11. Oh.My.Gosh!!! ROTFL!!! I got so caught up in the story I did not see that punch line coming! Oh goodness -- what a pair you two are! And thanks very much for sharing.

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  12. Your post made me laugh - I needed it since I haven't been in the greatest of moods the last few days. I could just imagine the two of you fumbling trying to get the gown on. Then when I saw the top of the pic for John's t-shirt I had to laugh because I knew what it was. I had already seen it posted on your Pinterest board. Like you said, it would have been interesting to know what the lady really thought about it!

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  13. I am giggling along with you. What a perfect shirt to wear for that particular adventure.

    Seriously, you are very wise to keep out of the sun, social hermitness or not. As a kid growing up by the beach on eastern Long Island, we did everything we could do get a "sun tan" which in my case was being bright read, having blisters, and peeling a lot. As a result, in my 50's I now have actinic keratosis, a condition I'd never heard of before but is just charming. So the lesson here from this wrinkled scaly old woman is: "Be like Jen! Stay out of the sun, you young whippersnappers!" [note: this is required to be yelled in Old Lady Voice while shaking your fist.]

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  14. Oh my word. I absolutely needed this laugh today. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Jen, I know what you mean, When the Hubz got his vasectomy, I was with him for moral support--of course--and to be the driver home. But the cauterizing smell was too much for me and I passed out. The procedure done, he had to finally come waddling into the other doctor's actual office (with a bag frozen vegetables held to his crotch) only to find me laid out across the couch with my feet up and eating a lollipop. Hope you are BOTH well now. ;)

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  16. Love the shirt! (And the necklace!) I've had a few moles cut off too -- sorry that you ended up bleeding all over the place!

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  17. You know, Jen, for a hermit crab you really do have some of the best stories! : D It's all in the telling.

    Andrea

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  18. Oh yeah, mole removal - so fun. My dad died of malignant melanoma so I have had a few cut off and tested. Active but benign. 3 awesome words.

    The one taken off my tummy - seriously hurt for days after, felt like it had been removed with a dull spoon edge. I hope yours healed quickly and have good test results. Unfortunately, I had no John to make my appointments better.

    I haven't tanned since my dad's diagnosis, over 20 years now. Yep, I am Snow White as well. Funny thing is, with no tanning, my freckles have almost all disappeared.

    Love the t-shirt!

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  19. She is probably telling all her older friends about the scary guy with body parts on his shirt. Haha!! Awesome shirt btw!

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  20. Such an appropriate t-shirt for doctors visits. I need one! (Also, that necklace really is adorable.)

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  21. Hahaha... My 15 year old son has that shirt.

    Last Spring he was having knee issues, and chose to wear this one to the orthopedic surgeon.

    http://6dollarshirts.com/product.php?productid=11769&gclid=CJycq9XSp7UCFaI-MgodwnQAhA

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  22. No way! That's why my heart starts racing when I get the numbing shots?!? (I've had quite a few "suspicious" moles removed). Good to know - next time I'll ask for just the lidocaine, since blood doesn't bother me too much...

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  23. Re: John's tee-shirt -- my sister has a "dragon kama sutra" tee-shirt (cute cartoon dragons in sexual positions). No one, NO ONE, ever notices just what the dragons are doing! They call their kids and grandkinds over to "look at the cute dragons on the lady's shirt"!!!

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    1. One of my friends wore a shirt likke that, but it featured gekkos instead of dragons. When a little kid asked him what the lizards were doing, he answered that they were doing Gekko Big-Time Wrestling moves. The kid loved it, and the kid's mother was relieved by the safe answer.

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  24. My husband is wearing a "I fart in your general direction" t-shirt today as well.

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  25. I'm glad the docs around here use cloth gowns!

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  26. That is hysterical, both that he wore that shirt to the dermatologist (on purpose? Freudian?) and that he was apologizing to the woman. My husband will LOVE hearing this and I think I'll have to buy him the shirt too....

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  27. Hilarious! This rivals the "nice British lady" story (still my favorite). I hope I don't get giggles at an inappropriate moment remembering this at my next dermo appointment.

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  28. I have now heard more stories about reactions to numbing! My dentist just completely blew me off - "oh, we use it all the time and rarely have problems" after I had a full blown panic attack in his office. HA. At least now I know why I freak out every time I have work done. Plus, for me, it lasts a really long time - even into the next day. BAN THAT CRAP!!

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  29. Sounds like you and I have similar dermatologist stories Jen! When I was a teen, I had to have a mole removed from my knee, and my mother, who also hates needles and blood, was barely able to make it through the procedure next to me (I needed to hold her hand), and my younger brother wanted to watch, but left the room and fainted against the hallway wall.

    What's really funny is that on the 7th, not long after you had your visit, I had a cyst removed from my elbow, and now I have to be careful about the stitches for a week. I'm terrified it will stretch out, since it's on the joint. My mom went with me again, but she stayed outside in the waiting room :)

    Glad you have John with you and you got through it with no attacks!

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  30. You know... Epi can cause problems with people with heart problems too. That and phen-fen. My dad has to check medicine lables, so he doesn't have problems with any cold medications.

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  31. The nurse used straight lidocaine in my numbing shots, since the epinephrine they normally include triggers almost instantaneous panic attacks.

    I am SO GLAD you posted this. I have been terrified to go to the doctor since the last few numbing shots I had (dentist and doctor, so I couldn't blame it on one particular doctor) resulted in immediate uncontrollable crying and shaking, to the point where I couldn't return to work afterward. I thought I was going crazy.

    Also, both the dentist and the doctor pretty much ignored this. Shouldn't doctors recognize an adverse reaction like that, and give you advice on how to deal with it? Or do they just assume that we're ridiculous hysterical females? >:(

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    1. I think you're the third person to mention this, and I'm truly amazed doctors *don't* explain that they're shooting you up with pure adrenaline! Maybe you're right about them assuming we're being hysterical, or maybe it's the stereotypical doctor brusque attitude - they want to get in and get out and not be bothered. Such a shame. At any rate, at least now you know to always specify no epinephrine in the future, so I'm glad for that!

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  32. Late post here, but YES. [Steps up on soapbox podium...] Docs nearly ALWAYS think it's just hysterical female emotions. GET A NEW DOC! Unless your doc is a woman or is unusually open-minded and alert, they will think that. Same for any condition that women tend to have more than men; they frequently dont treat it correctly and think it's all in your head. For hypothyroidism, they never give enough meds, which causes *huge* weight gains & is nearly impossible to lose even with dieting and exercise constantly. They think you don't need more thyroid, tell you to stop stuffing yourself (but you're not eating much anyway), workout *more* than the 2-3 hours a day you already are, and put you on antidepressants. Yay. Remember: you're the expert on *YOU*, and if you learn everything you can about your symptoms/condition, you CAN be just as educated as your doctor on at least *your* med probs, which is all you need.

    [Steps down off soapbox...]

    PS to Jen - I had a mole taken out too. (Didn't bother taking hubby; he's not good with blood and I am.) Doc gave me an option you might be interested in if there's a next time. I was told that I could apply a medicated lotion daily for several weeks to remove the mole & not have a scar (or only a little one). The other option was to have it cut out that day but it would definitely leave a good-sized scar (pencil tip eraser size to maybe dime-size). I knew I'd forget to use the lotion everyday so I opted to have it cut out. It did leave a scar but I don't care - it's usually covered. A swimsuit with wide straps will cover it too. Hubby was good about doctoring it; I guess post-op stuff doesn't faze him. (I can't see it real well as it's on my upper back shoulder area.) The scar gets swollen from bra strap irritation, so when I go in for checkups (skin cancer runs in the family), I usually get a steroid shot to shrink it about 1x a year. It also helps to use silicon strap holders - less irritation, less swelling. Just gotta find those babies - misplaced 'em & haven't used them in a while...

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