Saturday, October 8, 2016

Des Affaires Médicales

(Source)
So on Friday, I got to leave work early, half day logged, took the afternoon off.

Yay!

Because I had to go see a dermatologist.

Boo!

Mind you, this wasn't because I have some weird growth on me. Well, there are a couple of things which my doctor and The Missus Herself thought I should have checked. Not being one to argue (successfully anyway) with these two dames formidables (yes, my doctor is a lady, think small fingers, or not, the choice is yours, I know, gross), an appointment was made, some time ago, and was accomplished on Friday.

Yes, so what's with Arnold as Mr Freeze in that execrable Batman movie? Ah, apparently the dermatologist, or the dermatologist's assistant, a nice lady with lots of initials after her name, "MD" not being there, saw a couple of things which she was "concerned" with. So she pulled out this spray can thingee and this round thing-a-ma-bob with various size holes in it and informed me that applying liquid nitrogen would be just the thing to treat those things which "concerned" her. Okay, I was now officially concerned as well. (Liquid nitrogen is kept at approximately minus one billion degrees Fahrenheit. Okay, an exaggeration, it's really -196° Celsius, which is -320.8° Fahrenheit, oddly enough the dermatologist said -196, so I assumed Fahrenheit, I was wrong. I think we all know my feelings about the metric system. Or, the "system for people without calculators" as I like to call it. Oh crap, where was I?)

Ahem, yes. Liquid nitrogen.

(Source)
Yeah, that stuff. (Note that the container the dermatologist used was a lot smaller. Apparently the treatment didn't require NASA type quantities of liquid nitrogen.)

So the round thing-a-ma-bob is placed over the area to be treated, the hole used should be about the size of the area, and then squirt, pressurized liquid nitrogen is then applied.

Now I'm used to cold. When she told me how cold this stuff is, I jokingly mentioned, "Oh, like northern Vermont cold." She chuckled then opened fire, er, sprayed, really, really cold stuff on me.

No, it's not northern Vermont cold, it's dark side of the moon cold. You might say it stings a bit.

Three wart-like things on my legs, those stung like I could not believe, and two wart-like things on my face. Those proved to be not uncomfortable at all there in the office. Surprised me, maybe I didn't notice because the spots on my legs really, really stung. Actually drew an "Oh my!" from me there in the dermatologist's office. (If I had been elsewhere the language may have been a bit stronger, perhaps a tad.)

Well, the dermatologist apologized. I said "no big deal, surprised me is all." I was expecting cold, then I remembered, really extreme cold stuff touching one's skin can feel almost as if it's burning. Yeah, ow.

So I have to go back in November to see how things are faring. It kinda sucks as there is a history of skin cancer in the family, Mom's side, which worried the the dermatologist. No, I didn't tell her that, The Missus Herself, or the family snitch as I call her, told her. Seems she knows of all this from talking to my mother. Who doesn't tell me these things as I find those kinds of topics somewhat distressing.

As The Missus Herself and I drove away, the stinging on my legs became a rather appalling itchiness. Which I soon didn't notice because the left side of my face felt like it was melting. It was rather uncomfortable, but soon passed. Geez.

Like Buck used to say, "It's always sumthin'." (Sigh, found this Friday. Miss him I do.)




20 comments:

  1. Well, hang in there! The alternative is worse.

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    1. Indeed it is. Can't feel a thing today.

      For which I am thankful.

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  2. I got the same treatment this year. It stung when they zapped my face. But the itch was maddening! Man... until the affected area sloughed off. I had warts burned off when I was a teenager, I'll take freeze over burn any day. Frostbite isn't as painful.

    My high school geometry teacher told me a good one: He had a wart he wanted gone, and went to the old saw bones in his town. This dr. was really old, this was the late 1940's. He tells my teacher, TD, to 'drop your trousers'.... then leaves the room and starts rooting around in a closet. TD is a bit distressed, leans out the door and advises that the wart is on his hand.... Dr. says "drop your trousers now!" So, he reluctantly did.

    Dr. comes back in with a cymbal! Puts in on a stool and commands TD to sit. TD, "uh.. Doc.... I, uh...." "SIT!" TD said is was cold, but it was the situation that was most uncomfortable. The old doc puts a welding clamp on the cymbal, and fires up some electric thing to burn the wart off. That was when TD relaxed.... a bit.

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    1. Now THAT is a story which needs to be protected and preserved for posterity.

      Delete
    2. Shaun - Concur, and we heard it here first.

      Delete
  3. BTDT. Now I self medicate with the application of food grade 30% hydrogen peroxide. Works, and there is no $50 co-pay. Downside is 30 minutes or so of intense pain. Makes me howl like a die hard Bronco fan after their team loses.

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  4. You're very wise to get these checked out. My Grandmother Lewis had melanoma when I was little and I watched her
    waste away in agony till she died in our home when I was in the 7th grade. My Mom has had several Basel cell
    spots removed over the years so I get checked out every year. And I'm definitely with you on the small fingers!!!

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    1. I am getting to that age where trips to the medicos is a couple of times a year. Back in the Air Force it was more like once every five years, until I hit 40, then they wanted to see me once a year.

      Small fingers, no need to say any more. Am I right?

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  5. BITD every air station and carrier had an O2/N2 plant. Needed LOX for breathing and very pure nitrogen for tires and pneumatics. So we always had LN2 available at medical for weekly wart clinics. And when you send E-3's to collect LN2, they always get more than required (as much as possible), which results in much happy experimentation. I don't recall any severe injuries, but from time to time there was a bit of property damage.

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    Replies
    1. E-3s misbehaving? Nah, say it ain't so.

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  6. I dislike the temporary discoloration and waiting for the frozen skin to peel off. Better than the alternative though.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it isn't very attractive is it?

      Then again, I'm not on the market anymore. ;)

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  7. Have had several moles removed over the years. So far they have all been cut off when in the early stages of going very bad. Going back into the dermatologist's office next week for a slice and dice after getting the phone call that says they need to take a little more. My standard answer is to cut more than you think, because just like nuking the site from orbit, it is the only way to be sure.
    As others above said, these things are best caught early.

    Small fingers. Out of a three doctor practice I picked the doctor with the smallest hands when I got a flare up of a condition what rhymes with droids. During the examination I realized that finger size did not matter, I should have looked at the size of the wrist and arm. (or maybe it just felt that way!)

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  8. Anybody with access to Liquid Nitrogen should be aware that it's also good for making great ice cream, especially if you have a good kitchen mixer.

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  9. Freezing beats slicing. When they go after some skin cancers, they use a curved knife-thingy, and take slices out. They stop digging when the slices stop showing malformed cells. Sound bad so far? Nope. It is much worse. See, they take a slice, take it to some lab in Timbuktu while making you sit in an uncomfortable chair, then come get another slice, repeat, slice, wait, slice, wait, slice...

    Sometime after the fourth coming of Christ, yeah, that long, they finally sew you up, say some things that make no sense (like, have a nice day and such) and say you are good to go back to work. As if. Once the lidocaine stuff wears off, it does indeed feel like someone with a stick is hitting you in the head (I actually know how that feels, the hitting in the head with the stick thing. I used to do that stuff for fun.) And then the real pain sets in. Imagine having your face gnawed upon by a buck-toothed giant rat with really bad teeth, while the dude with the stick is trying to hit the rat with a stick and keeps missing and hits you instead.

    Next day you wake up looking like an epileptic Zorro used your face for target practice.

    I much prefer the cold stuff. Really much prefer the cold stuff.

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    Replies
    1. Based on your description Andrew, yeah, I'll take the cold stuff.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)