In my last post I said I was having the mole on my back removed yesterday – sorry, I got the date wrong but didn’t amend the blog post: it was today.
The Boss drove me and Mini Minx the 45 min drive to the little cottage hospital where I was having the little procedure done. We were early, then had to wait another 20 mins past the appointment time. That was fine – Mini’s at that age when kids seem to want to use every toilet they come across, in some kind of 3-year-old territory-marking thing.
When the Dr called me in, it felt a bit overwhelming: him, 2 nurses and an observer. And music… That music felt like a 6th person in the room. You know how the right music creates an ambiance, and can be ignored? Well, not this. Greatest Easy-Listening Hits of the Early 70s. Not my cup of tea at all. But being a child of that era, they merrily and instantly lodged themselves as today’s earworms. Meh.
“Do you mind if I sing along?” asked the surgeon.
“Do you mind if I don’t join in?” I grimaced, face down on the table, trying to bury my ears in the pillow.
He was a jolly fellow who asked lots about my hair colours and chatted to the rest of the room non-stop throughout the procedure. In hindsight, I should have taken a book along to distract myself. I’ve been
acting feeling fairly blase and nonchalant about it all up till now, but when it actually came to climbing up on the table and getting comfy, I couldn’t relax my tense shoulders and back at all. When the first of 3 (!) blood-soaked swabs went over my head and sat flaunting their cheerful red colour at me a few inches from my face, it didn’t do much to stop my quaking and shivering. (Even though it did strike me that it would be the perfect shade for my next hair dye-job…). Of course, I did what I always do when I’m frightened – turn into a bad stand-up (ok, lie-down) comedian and fire off one-liners and jokes until I’ve raised at least a few laughs. It’s a sub-conscious thing that I’ve noticed I do. It irritates the hell out of me, so must have been pretty tedious for the medics.
I think I was doing fine until the surgeon decided to cauterize the little blood vessels when he was done. I tell you, the sound and sensation of your own tissue sizzling and spitting isn’t a very pleasant one, even if it doesn’t hurt. I don’t know if I could have handled any bacon aromas at that moment (well, it was lunchtime…), so reverted to mouth-breathing. Why? Well, can you imagine? Bacon smell = appetite stimulant. But from a smell that’s been made by your own burned body? Oh no! I used to say that nothing has ever put me off my food – and in a past career, notoriously so – but this did.
Afterwards, the nice nurse who finished up quietly told me to soak my blood-stained bra in cold water and gave me a bag for it. I should have taken it off beforehand, but after frightening poor nurse B last week I thought that this time I’d just obey the doc’s directions. So when he said to remove my top and only take one arm out the bra strap before putting on the gown, that’s what I did. Double-meh – it
is was my favourite bra: greying and tatty but a perfect fit and always made my saggy lemons look like ripe, exuberant melons. I have high hopes for Ariel Stain Remover…
I had a look at the mole, swimming in its jar, before I left. It was only hazelnut-sized. The surgeon said he’d cut a 5mm margin of skin around the mole and a little cuff of fat. Well, hooray for Trout back fat (which is a sunny shade of yellow, I discovered), because I wouldn’t have fancied him digging around at muscle-level. I resisting waving goodbye to it, but mostly because I was trying to cover up the fact that I was shaking like a wuss of a leaf that needs to man-up. Apparently pathology should return the result of the mole “very quickly indeed”, in a week or so.
The Boss kindly pointed out that I was probably in very mild shock, so I’ve taken the afternoon pretty easy. He suggested sunbathing (you can tell that I married him for his sense of humour). I’m not in any pain, but it is quite uncomfortable: there’s a couple of stitches that’ll need to come out in a fortnight, lots of steri-strips and a big showerproof plaster. Actually, it’s probably the plaster that’s making it all feel so crunchy. That and the fact that I can’t unknot my tensed back muscles yet. I don’t know why I’m feeling so sorry for myself – I’m so very glad that the horrible thing is gone! And besides, it could have been far worse: Midi Minx asked persuasively and seriously if she could take the day off school to come and observe the procedure. I actually gave it a bit of thought initially, too, before deciding it probably wasn’t appropriate for inquisitive 5 year olds who still can’t keep their fingers from caressing their own bogeys, day and night.