Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wart is Gone. If it comes back, it can stay.

Emma, my 13-year-old, is begging me not to post this post. She said I should never ever ever mention my wart. She's not the boss of me, which means you get to hear this story.

I've had a wart on my naughty finger for three or four years. It laughed in the face of every over-the-counter treatment, so I finally made a doctor appointment to get rid of it. On my way to my appointment yesterday, I started to wonder if I might actually miss my wart. It's given me something to pick at when I'm nervous. It's been there for the good times and the bad times. It comforts me to press on it and cause a little pain when I do something stupid, like yell the wrong name at a soccer game. I know that's gross.

It was time to say goodbye. I don't go to the doctor very often, so I felt silly for going in for something so minor. Umm...was it really necessary for the nurse to weigh me in for a wart appointment? I wondered if they going to weigh me afterwards to calculate how much the wart weighed. The first question the nurse asked was if I was having chest pains. And then she took my blood pressure. Evidently it was stuff they needed to cover before getting rid of my warty little friend.

Dr. K used to be my neighbor, so we had a nice chat. Sometimes it's good to personally know your doctor, and sometimes it's not good. I plan to go to urgent care if I ever have anything super embarrassing. Funny how fewer and fewer things fall into that "embarrassing" category, the older I get. When I held up my naughty finger, Dr. K got a weird look on his face and said he didn't even know if it was a wart. In my head, I thought to myself, "It probably looks weird because I get nervous a lot and have picked off the top of it". But I didn't say anything out loud. Then Dr. K said it didn't really matter because he would figure it out when he started cutting into it.

WAIT A SECOND! "Cutting into it?!" I thought we'd be freezing this thing off. Well, shoot! Before I could ask any questions, Dr. K said he would be back with all his stuff. He really said it just like that. His stuff.

Dr. K came back with a nurse and a bag of stuff that I tried not to look at. I scooted my chair to the exam table and laid my hand on an almost-white towel. I asked if the towel was clean, and they told me it had come from a hospital. I acted like that answered the question. Then I declared that I would not be watching whatever it was Dr. K was going to do to my finger. He seemed surprised and asked if I was more worried about the needles or the blood. Oh, good golly! I wished he hadn't said either one of those words. I hadn't even considered that it would be bloody! I stuttered, but didn't really answer. He gave me a pillow and told me to lay my head down and look the other way.

I got as comfortable as possible with my right hand on the clean white towel, my bottom in a chair, my feet on the floor with one of them a-tap-tap-tapping, my right cheek on a pillow, my back curved around in an unflattering posture, and my eyes squished tight. I wasn't sure what to do with my left arm, so it was the last thing still moving around, trying to find a "natural" position. Dr. K got all his stuff out and told me I'd feel a little bee sting. He was still talking about the little bee stings as he gave me five shots in the finger. Dr. K also practices pediatric care. I handled the bee stings just fine. After that, I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel a feeling that someone was digging into and cutting something out of my finger. I stayed very still and quiet during that part. These are some things I heard Dr. K say.

"Oh, you were right! It is a wart! I see the core right there."

"Wow. It's really deep."

"Hmmm. I don't think I should dig any deeper."

"Now I'm going to cauterize."

"Now it will feel cold while I freeze the core."

"Let's clean this up for you."
[I'm picturing a bloody, bloody mess.]

"Give me a call if it comes back, and I'll work on it some more."
[I stayed quiet, but I'll let you guess what I was thinking.]
[And then, as I lifted my head off the pillow]
"Oh, are you sweating?! Are you light headed?"

I admitted that I felt a little dizzy, but really I felt a lot dizzy. The nurse gave me a cool damp washcloth and rested for a little while. I finally looked at my finger, expecting to see it wrapped up in thick gauze. I was prepared to see a bit of blood around the edges. In fact, I wondered if I would be able to type when I went back to work. I saw this.
I might be a wimp, but at least I'm not warty.

That could be the title of a country song, or at least in the lyrics of a country song. You heard it here first.