I have a massive pimple on my eyebrow. It is threatening to take over my face. I am dating for the first time in 33 years and I get pimples.
Needless to say I did not go on any dates this particular weekend.
It was a long weekend and I had extra time to take extreme measures to squeeze the pimple off my face; it got bigger. On the Tuesday morning I went to a chemist and asked him to give me something to get this pimple off my eyebrow.
The chemist took a look at the eyebrow and said, “It is no pimple; you need to see a doctor.” “Huh?” I said. The chemist continued, “It could be a spider bite, or something else.” I went to my doctor, John who suggested it could be something else. I then suggested could we run with a spider bite? I have been on antibiotics for the best part of a week and the offending pimple look-a-like has now doubled in size.
At 9am I phoned the doctor. John suggested the pimple would need to be removed if it did not go down over the week on antibiotics. I am guessing that will be my treat for the week. He will be removing it as I have no private medical cover. My current temp position is for one month. I have a job for another two weeks. These temp jobs require real management skills. I am constantly trying to find the next one while working the current one. It keeps me occupied.
I find myself thinking about medical procedures, I had a mole removed a few months ago by the same doctor. With moving I had to find a new doctor, which is a difficult task in itself. On a phone around I was told doctors were not taking new patients. I assured them I was not a high maintenance patient; once or twice a year was all I wanted. This made no difference. When I found John I was overjoyed that he was likeable and capable, because finding another one would have been impossible. I had finally hit the jackpot and I was happy. I know doctors are always busy and bill by the second.
This new doctor of mine ushered me into his room for the first time, then he turned to return the last patient’s card to his receptionist. When he re-entered his room I had undressed to my underwear. He was startled. “Phew, that was quick!” John said .The offending mole was on my back. He introduced me to his nurse a few days later as ”a woman who can undress in record time”. I do not think that is anything to be proud of – I was only being thrifty, he was billing by the second remember. My Mum would have been impressed at my attempt to be thrifty.
John did a great job on the removal of the mole on my back, unlike a doctor a few years ago who did a mole removal. That procedure left a huge scar – the dressing left the scar. I have skin which is keloid, producing extra scar tissue, and the new dressings now in use leave a scar on my skin. I have a big noughts and crosses scar where a mole was removed by a previous doctor. I am not saying where this is. His work with the stitches was excellent, and to be fair he was not to know at the time about the effect the dressing would have. What was disappointing was neither he nor his nurse, who let out one big “OH” when she saw it, told me why I was left with the scar. Another doctor told me. Anyway, back to this story…oh no, I have finished this story – on to a completely new one!
Lately I have controlled what I eat to the nth degree. Not even a small chocolate bar passes my lips and into my stomach nowadays. So when I had a huge craving for a trifle, a sweet trifle, I made one and then I ate it. I made it one Saturday evening and for morning tea on Sunday I had some. I went out and had one glass of red wine with someone and another glass of wine later that day with someone else, and then I came home and ate more trifle. I could not sleep at all and by 3am I thought I was dying. Seriously. I had what is known as a hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) spike. Had I just eaten more trifle then I would have been right but no instinct told me to eat.
There was no trifle left anyway. I watched the night tick by and in the morning I phoned for a doctor’s appointment. I made a late afternoon appointment as I did not think I could drive. I walked to the doctors at 3:30pm; I was still shaking, trembling, in the afternoon.
The same thing had happened the week before. I had to go home from work after eating a slice or piece of everything sweet at a work morning tea. By 2:30pm, having not eaten anything else that day I had the shakes and felt terrible. That night I also felt like I was going to die and here it was happening again – what the hell was wrong?
Now I know. All I had to do was to eat – anything at all. Does not have to be a sugar item, just anything would have corrected the whole ‘my body is rejecting me’ signals within 10 minutes. Instead of that I did nothing for about 20 hours but shake and think ‘I do not have a current Will made out, oh that’s no drama I have no money either’.
Apart from that trifle and the wine I had nothing else to eat that day. The trifle had filled me up. John my doctor suggested that wasn’t the best way to move forward and said I should eat five times a day, small meals.
That does not work for me. Once I start eating, I want to keep eating. I have never been a nibbler. My Mum was a nibbler, and Mum was always thin. Dad said she looked like Olive from the Popeye cartoon when she was riding a bike. Just to give you that visual image of thin, thin. He was attracted to her by watching her ride past a shop where he worked with his father. He told his father that one day he would meet her and he would say to his Dad “there goes Olive” as she would ride past with her skinny legs. He did not know her name at the time, he was to find out later, her legal name was Olive.
The story goes that her father, of Irish drinking heritage got it wrong. He was given the job of going to the Births, Deaths and Marriages registrar (no online stuff then) to register the birth of their fourth child (second daughter). No doubt the novelty of this had worn off and he needed sustenance along the way. By the time he got to the registries office he had completely forgotten the name his wife had told him. He gave her “a name” – when my Mum started school and the birth certificate was obtained they found that they had been calling their new daughter Katherine for five years when her legal name was Olive May.
Going back to health matters because I still have plenty of funny moments to recall on health matters. I have regular Pap smear tests, as most women do. I usually see a female doctor or have a nurse do them. A few years ago, the female doctor whom I had never seen before was doing her bit and with her other arm she was leaning on her elbow with her hand in the air almost in front of my face. After the Pap smear was done, she stayed in position and told me she would do a further internal check. She then asked me to squeeze her fingers. I was looking at her hand in front of my face and thinking, “Why does she want me to squeeze her fingers?” I was so close to reaching up and squeezing her fingers that were in front of my face, with my hand, it was scary and then I thought, ‘Ohhhhhhh… other fingers. Okay’.
I then found I had this uncontrollable desire to laugh out loud; so I did. I could not settle myself enough to tell her. Imagine if I had squeezed her hand that was being held up in the air. She probably would have got such a fright that she would have jumped away from me, who knows?
Is it only me or do other people do embarrassing things as well?
I have always thought it important to be on a first name basis with my Doctors. When John my new doctor phone’s me I know it is not a good thing, he’s married and never phones with good news. Okay, I was prepared; it’s about the pimple look-a-like. To be honest, after the trip to the chemist, the general feel of the removal, the four stitches and the huge white plaster still on my eyebrow, I already had a reasonable idea this was not a normal pimple.
I was told it was cancer. I said, “I do not have time to die.” John told me, “Oh you are not going to die just yet”. John removes something like eight of these every week. Eight a week. If these people all died he would not be allowed to continue as a doctor. Okay, I started to settle. I was not the only person who heard this news this week.
With all the wisdom doctors gather over their years of practising, John knew to take out a good amount around this “look- a-like” pimple. I will thank him, when I go back to get the stitches out. Yes, the middle was cancer. It was a shock and a dreadful thing to hear that your body, which you know has the capacity to do this, has done this.
As John told me the news I did everything in my power to keep my ears open as they desperately tried to shut down on me. I then heard a good outer circle of what was cut out (Yes I like those words “cut out”. I focus in on “gone”, “cut out”) were cancer free cells. Cancer free? Nah, I could live without hearing those words. Maybe just healthy cells is what I heard. I like that. Okay, so what do I have to do? Nothing. Hum. Is it possible to do nothing when you have just been told you have cancer cells, albeit removed, that your body made? Is it possible?
I returned to my current temp workplace. I had something to do. I got back to work. I chatted to this man in my life, my friend, on the phone after work from the car park. I made it to the car park. I guess I can drive home. Gosh, I have lots to do. I thought I would just forget about it.
The next morning about 8.45am I get a phone call. I have a job.
I must be on a roller coaster ride. One week into my new job. I found the position did not suit me after all. I would have an ulcer if I stayed so I left. No hard feelings. Some things simply don’t work, I realized at the end of that very long week.
Back to blogging! No indication the roller coaster ride is coming to an end.
Copyright © Mary Willetts 2012