6 March 2007

A Minor Day Surgery

I had this "nodule" on my right forearm for over a year now. It started out with a minor ruptured pimple of sorts. But that small wound never healed. I consulted a doctor and was referred to the National Skin Centre. The recommendation by the specialist was to excise it and be sent for testing.

I arrived at National Skin Centre a little late. Thanks to all the missing taxis. They either never appear during off-peak hours, go blind during those times or are on call. I have serious doubts about those "On Call" statuses. For that extra $2.50, I have to say that they are unscrupulous.

Anyway, there is this thing about going to have a piece of my flesh surgically cut out of me. It is oddly fascinating, scary but exciting. That, and the inevitable scar that will be in the place of the nodule. It's like, "I'm gonna have a scar! And scars are fierce! Woohoo~!"

So it started out with some local anesthetic, which really weird. First prick of the needle hurt slightly. Then everything went numb, but I felt the needle again. Curiosity got the better of me and I lifted my head to take a look. Goodness. The doctor didn't just "stab" me once, he took multiple stabs. At that moment I told him that it was somewhat morbidly amusing to see him taking so many shots. He chuckled, maybe in agreement?

Then he and the assisting nurse covered the rest of my arm with those green surgical bib kind of thing with that hole to show the little lump. The doctor announced that he was starting and proceeded to sink the scalpel into the numbed area. I could feel the pressure and the movement of the blade through the skin, but without any pain. It was weird to say the least. Almost like an out-of-body experience. And I even asked if I could watch while he literally cut a piece of flesh out of me. He advised against that, explaining that it might make me uncomfortable. Oh well, doctor's orders.

Moments later, he stopped his cutting and I lifted my head off the pillow to take a peek. All I saw was a gaping wound about the size of the a 20 cent coin. At that point I exclaimed, "Wah, doctor! You cut a crater out ah?"

"Well, I had to cut that thing out cleanly."

"Oh, ok. Just didn't expect a crater, really."

The doctor then proceeded to stitch me up. First, an internal stitch with a white colored thread that would actually be absorbed by the body. Then an external stitch with blue nylon-like thread. While he was at it, I could feel the tension of the skin being drawn together by thread. Again, it felt pretty odd.

The doctor took quite a while stitching up that crater as he needed to stitch up something internally with the soluble white thread. Since the white thread was used, I related an article about those stents to used to support collapsed arteries. From the soluble ones to the drug-coated and the original ones. It sort of passed the time and distracted me from the idea of being cut up at my own free will.

So that was my experience under the knife.
Morbidly fascinating.
Not to mention that I'm pretty excited about the scar, I think...

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