Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Some people are just cystic. That's what the doctor told me when I went in to have the bump on my face checked and after I informed him that ten years ago I had an egg-sized cyst removed from my knee and that my ovaries are apparently covered in them (I still haven't had that surgery). The best way to describe the thing on my face, which appeared over two years ago, is a small ball you could slightly move around under the skin. Most people said they couldn't even tell it was there. Twice I went to the same dermatologist, who both times shot the middle of the ball with steroids. Both times that solved nothing and pissed me off because why would you do the same thing when it didn't help the first time around?
So I waited. Just over two years. But a few weeks ago I woke up and the little alien pod on my face felt like it tripled in size. Suddenly, my mom, who is always telling me things don't look as bad as I think they do, was saying, "It's definitely noticeable now." Cool, thanks.
I made an appointment with a different dermatologist, without knowing ahead of time that this guy is the same one who removed a small something from my dad's face a few years ago, which turned out to be a small dose of cancer. I prepared myself for the worst and decided I might actually laugh if someone tells me my face is cancerous. The doctor came in, squeezed the area with his thumb and forefinger and said, "It's a cyst." Duh. I explained how it's suddenly grown and he said the only solution would be to operate.
I set up an 8 a.m. appointment the following Tuesday, barely nervous about getting my face cut open. The worst part involved getting ten shots of Novocaine outlining the whole area of the intruder. I involuntarily lost a few tears from the sharp pain, but was totally fine once I was all numbed up. As soon as the doctor made the initial incision he said, "Well it's infected, which means it essentially broke open." Gross. "So I'll have to scoop it out in pieces, as opposed to grabbing it out in one shot." I never got to see the pieces, and yes, I know it's weird, but I kind of wanted to. This probably stems from my dad (as most idiosyncrasies of my life do) keeping my tonsils in a baby food jar filled with formaldehyde when I had them removed 22 years ago. He said he wanted to give them to someone in the family, I forgot who, who was studying medicine or something.
As the nurse attached a giant bandage to the left side of my face, she said, "I hope you took the day off work."
"No I did not," I proudly replied. "I'm a dog walker, so I don't have anyone to impress. They love me bandages, stitches, cysts and all." The funny thing is that I had my office party to attend that night, where I finally got to meet all my dog-walking co-workers for the first time. I felt the need to explain what happened earlier that morning to a few people, who I knew were looking inquisitively but didn't want to say anything. I was fine with it, though, and so were they. Because to be a dog-walker, generally speaking, you can't also be an asshole.
The following are photos either my mom took or I took of myself over the aforementioned days. (Also, I forgot to mention that Stella, my puppy, had her lady parts removed on the same day at the same time, so she's involved in my before&after documentation.)
[Stella and me the night before our various stuff was removed]
[before--i'm pushing the cyst with my tongue, it wasn't that big/protruding]
[the initial bandage]
[here are my stitches]
[me and Stella 5 days post-op, i have an even smaller band-aid and my mom missed getting Stella's scar in the photo]