It has been a crazy month here in the Kingdom. I am sure that I speak for not only myself, but also for the Prince, Happy, and Doc as well as all my support dwarfs and persons... ENOUGH already! I am a horrible patient. I am not okay with needles. I dont not convalesce well.
I knew even after the high of the great thyroid/growth report, cancer free, that I was going to have one more "'procedure" to endure before my "check engine" light could be put out for what I pray will be years to come!
On April 22nd, I was scheduled for a small basal cell skin spot removal. A recent appearance, caught early, and in my mind, a very small issue that could and would be easy enough to handle.
Except no woobie. No support person. And I would be awake and alert for it all. Needles would be involved. I, even though I desire not to be this person, would loose my marbles.
So, the week prior to my procedure, knowing how I panic about needles, I called to confirm my appointment, to make sure that the doctor knew where he was "digging" since I did not desire my forehead to resemble the Wack-a-Mole game, and reminded them about my terrible irrational fear of needles.
After a bit of a run around. By run around I mean, they would not call in the happy pill to my pharmacy for me to pick up and take while the Prince drove me in to the appointment as that is not their protocol. I come to find out it was also not something they would even consider budging on. They assured me that upon my arrival to the office 30 minutes early they would give me an Ativan, and my anxiety would dissipate within 30 minutes.
First, I had to assure them I had transportation to and from the appointment, and had to sign a consent form. ALL of which I was most willing to do! I arrive at the appointed time. I wait to be called back to sign my form and get my pill to calm my jumbled nerves, and realized as the minutes ticked by, it was as if I never had this conversation, or three similar ones, with two nurses, prior to this appointment, about my irrational fear of needles.
By now, as I am waiting, I am waging a war in my mind, about doing this without the Ativan, and just with my sloth - as my life size woobie, was shunned from accompanying me, as the time that the pill should be starting to take affect, is passing by. They have already indicated this process could be multi step and last most of the day.
Finally I am called back to the office, and they begin prepping me for what is to come. I remind the nurse that I am terrified of needles, she soothingly says, "it will be okay" and tells me the doctor will be in to mark up my forehead in a few minutes.
Okay, I want this done. Meds or not, I want this over so I can go home. It seems NO one is remembering the meds, and at this point I do not wish to waste a half hour waiting for them to kick in.
So I convince myself I can do this without the meds. About that time I overhear them discussing the fact that I did not get the Ativan and did not sign the consent and now, if they give it to me I have to wait 30 minutes. No, nope, not happening. Just get me done and on the way home.
The nurse comes back in and says very humbly, "I am so sorry that we did not look closer at your notes. Do you want the Ativan now?" I told her no, that I was just going to "suck it up" and that they would just have to deal with stressed out me, because as badly as I did not want any of this to happen, I also did not want any delays in the process. I wanted to do this and get out as fast as I could.
The doctor comes in, marks my forehead. Just a small round dot. I feel relieved. I convince myself this will be simple. I can do this. I hop off my chair and grab my sloth, and mentally prepare for what is coming next.
The staff was delightful. I almost did not feel the prick or the burning, or my pulse racing, or my heart pounding, or feel my arm pits sweating, could almost keep my feet still, and my groans silent, nor did I recognize I was twisting the life out of poor Mr. Sloth. It was almost, like everything I feared most in life was not happening. But it did. And I survived. I wasn't happy. But I also wasn't vomiting.
The first pass was so fast. For that I was so grateful. Off I go to the waiting room with a bandage to wait on pathology. Some are already waiting, some are already going back for a second pass... and I am praying that I can be done with this one pass. So I read. I pray. I text. Waiting...
As I assess the folks around me, I feel like I am just but a baby. All my co-waiters were easily 25 + years older than I... As I am processing this information and wondering at 80 if I would care about basal cell on my ear... I hear the nurse call my name.
We head back the hall and she says that the doctor has to make another pass at the site. He did not get it all the first time. I feel like vomiting, because now, in addition to an already open wound, they have to numb it again (with another needle) and he has to cut more from my head.
I have Mr. Sloth. I have a distraction, talking to the nurse about true crime. But this time I can't focus. My hands are shaking, and I literally feel ill. Mr. Sloth is taking a beating, and my feet are moving back and forth causing me to move in a way that only God knows how that nurse injected the correct spot(s) and that doctor did not hack of more than he needed.
Bandage returned to the site, back to the waiting room. I am now pleading with the Lord to please make this last pass be the one that has the clear margins, because I know I have to go one more time to be stitched up, and if I have to do more passes with the doctor cutting out more tissue, I may literally fall out of the chair. (and why did it not occur to me ask for that stupid pill while I was waiting, I have no idea...)
My prayers or desperate pleas, at this time it is a fine line, are answered. Clear margins! So back I go again to get injected more, so that the stitch work can begin.
Now during all these instances I have kept my eyes so tightly squeezed shut that when I open them to stand to leave the room, they hurt. This whole stitching you up thing... gosh closing my eyes and wringing the life out of Mr. Sloth, was not enough to distract my mind or my ears.
And this seemed to take forever. 4 internal stitches and 10 external. Snip, tug, snip, clip, tug, tug... ugh - I feel like I may faint. My hair is caught in a cap, the tape is caught in my hair. Everyone is super nice and are trying to distract me, but I am unable to think clearly at this point, sort of just barely able to breathe.
At last I am free to go.
Just like that - four hours gone, and cancer gone! For those of you keeping score that is two cancer free diagnosis's in two weeks time! I am grateful! I am! Beyond grateful! Overwhelmed actually.
I get the stitches out in a week. I am avoiding mirrors because the area is much larger than the doctor initially identified, and all wounds, mine and others sort of freak me out. But I am cancer free. To my knowledge at least.
Here is to the worst series of tune ups in the world, or at least in my world, and prayers that I do not have any other issues for maybe another 10-15 years (or more).
Just a little bump in the road as it were, to remind me of what is important. To keep my focus on the Lord.
To live, love, and serve my family and others as if there are no guarantees for tomorrow. To be appreciative of modern advances that extend our lives. That find and assess concerns early and for treatments that are maybe uncomfortable, but produce results that are amazing.
For the knowledge that even if the results had been not so favorable, that technology has options for next steps. For my youth. (As I assessed in the waiting room 51 is the new 30.) For my overall good health. For friends and family that step up, encourage and pray for me.
Mostly, for my life size woobie, the Prince, that takes such amazing care of me. I would be lost without his gracious and unending love for me. So here is to the next 30 years Mr. Lingle. Hopefully maintenance free, but if there is more medical issues along the way, there is no one else I would rather have caring for me!
You Just Can't Make this Stuff UP!
PS : Mr Sloth, needs some repairs. I hope I am as good of a "stitcher upper" as my surgeon was! He has a loose leg and a large hole in his bum that he is loosing his stuffing from... Sorry...