Sunday, April 5, 2015

From the Archives: I Have Stitches!!

A friend of mine requested this story.  I don't remember when it happened.  It was about five... six years ago?  It was before I started this blog.  If you've never heard it before...


I HAVE STITCHES!!!

A week ago Friday, I had a dermatology appointment to have a couple moles removed from my back.  They didn't really bother me because I couldn't see them, but Jessica explained that that was exactly why they had to come off.  They were a bit misshapen and I couldn't see them to monitor them.  Whatever.  I trust her, so if she says they have to go, then they have to go. 
I arrive and am almost immediately shown to the Alice in Wonderland room, so name for its twenty-foot ceiling, large cabinetry, and super-huge chair.  I'm a big girl and my ass can engulf most chairs, but this chair was ginormous!  I felt like a little kid sitting on the thing.  A little kid wearing a bright blue dressing gown and Christmas socks. 
Yes, Christmas socks.  Brightly colored socks with Christmas wreaths on the sides.  It's cold at work and I'm tired of freezing!  Plus, I'd forgotten about the appointment that morning so I was dressed like a North Pole reject instead of in my normal too-fat-for-fashion style. 
The assistant Veronica (aka Vern) explains that it's a mole on my lower back and the back of my right thigh.
"Thigh??  But I didn't shave!"
"That's fine." 
Vern is not surprised.  She, along with every other medical professional I've ever seen in my life - my PCP, my gynecologist, my dentist - all know I don't shave my legs (unless it's bikini weather) because my skin is ultra-sensitive.  But honestly, I would have tortured myself for this little procedure.  No one wants to freeze moles off a Sasquatch.
"Ok.  I don't remember her mentioning the thigh.  Then again I don't remember before lunch."
I sat in the gigantic adult high-chair watching Vern prepare the instrument tray.  It looks like she's emptying a fishing tackle box.  I'm still fairly calm at this point. 
Vern leaves to get Jess and I take that opportunity to survey the rest of my clothes.  Specifically the condition of my underoos.
Oh, please God.  Tell me I wore the good ones.  YES!  No unholy stainage! 
Then Jess comes in...
"I didn't shave!"
"That's fine."
"Ok."
She checks out the moles.
"Oh yeah.  This one (on the leg) will only need a couple stitches.  But this one (on the back) might need a few more."
"STITCHES!!!"
I think it's a compliment to my dermatology office that I trust them implicitly.  But sometimes I wish I would pay more attention when they're talking to me and maybe I should ask a question once in a while.  I apparently missed the entire conversation on what was going to happen this day.
"Not freezing?  You guys usually freeze Diana's face off."
"Um, no.  Not for these."
"Well, can't you use lasers?  Hell, my GYN lasered out my entire uterus last October.  Chernobyled those walls right off.  Worked so good I'm thinking about giving tours."
Jess just smiled at me like I was her retarded Aunt from Alabama.  (I get that look a lot.)
"Hop on up." She gestured to the table.
There was no "hopping" going on here. 
"You got a stepladder or something?" I mumbled while lumbering up awkwardly onto the chair which transformed into a kind of leather dining room table.
"Ok.  Time to numb the area.  This will pinch."
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!
I wanted to say.  Instead I just kind of whimpered...
"mommy..."
"Yeah, that actually hurts quite a bit," Jess admitted.
"uh huh..."
"And one more time."
To my amazement, the anesthetic needle in the back was MUCH more painful than the thigh.  I thought it would have been the other way around.  SURPRISE!
As Jess set about the business of carving me up, she’s chatting with Vern about the weekend, various mutual friends, the awful 80’s tunes playing over the PA system.
“Do you like Phil Collins?” Vern asked me.
“uh huh...”
I’m not sure she said Phil Collins.  She could have asked me “Do you like deep fried bunny rabbits?” and I’d have agreed.  I was more concerned about Pinhead back there sewing up the mess she was making.
At one point, Jess has her finger covering the hole she whittled into my back and with her free hand she grabs some kind of tool.  It looks like a soldering iron.
WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT????
Apparently the look of horror in my eyes did the speaking for me because she quickly explained.
“It’s an electric needle.”
Great.  Excellent.  That didn’t really answer the question I was mentally asking.  So, I would have to verbally speak it.  This required some strength.  When in moments of extreme fear, it helps to summon a great warrior’s spirit.
“Hurts much...does it?” 
I apparently conjured up Yoda.
“Doesn’t hurt at all.  It’s to stop the bleeding.”
WELL, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE DUG A HOLE TO CHINA IN MY BACK!
“Are you touching something metal?” she asked.
My left hand was.  I moved it post-haste to the top of the headrest.
“Don’t electrocute me...” I managed to squeak out.
Jess just laughed.  I still have no idea if that was a joke or not.  Don’t want to know.  She wasn’t lying about the electronic needle though.  Didn’t feel a thing.  I was willing to bet someone's first born she was lying.
When she got done, I had one stitch inside my back and five on top with two on my leg.  Seems like a lot of trauma for just a few stitches, but I’ve never really had stitches before.  I had two or three in my chin when I was in Third Grade and I fell, splitting it wide open.  I don’t really remember the stitches though.  I remember my father, who worked in a mental institution and has seen some disturbing stuff, almost passing out when they started to stitch up his little girl.  He took it way worse than I did.
Back at the dermatologist's office...
The procedure was done and they let me get changed.  Vern assured me Jess' stitchwork was fantastic.  They gave me a sheet with some instructions and a note to come back in 10-14 days.  If there was anything else, I missed it completely.  (Yeah, that’s never gonna change.)
After making my next appointment, I hobbled out to the CRV, slid into the seat and drove home without moving anything except my left hand and my right foot.  It’s a good thing I only live a few blocks from the doctor’s office.
Upon getting home I called Drew at work and promptly told him...
“You need to get a ride home!  I am not getting into the car again!  I don’t know if it was bandages or stitches, but something kept pulling all the way home!  Oh, my God!  This is awful!  I’m dying!  I HAVE STITCHES!”
A bit dramatic, I admit.  I could hear Drew rolling his eyeballs at me thru the phone.  But he got another ride home, where I proceeded to lead him on a tour of the house to pick up all the things I’d dropped since getting home.
“The mail...some spools of ribbon...that box...I HAVE STITCHES!”
I discovered I actually drop a lot of things.  But now I had no way to pick them up.  I couldn’t bend my back or bend my right leg.  I tried to pick up an envelope once without bending.  I almost ended up in a split.  Then Drew would have to pick me up.  He was better off just getting the crap I dropped.  At any given time that weekend there was a good chance you could hear...
“Drew!  Pick this up!  I HAVE STITCHES!”
Drew and I agreed on one thing...The Uterine Chernobyl day surgery went A LOT better than my seven stitches.  After the lady-bits barbecue procedure, I made breakfast and cleaned the kitchen while he napped!  This time it was...
“Drew!  Make me breakfast!  I HAVE STITCHES!”
That’s ok.  He owed me.  And lord how I've made him pay.