Thursday, January 18, 2018

Adventures in Dermatology

Wednesday it was an afternoon trip to my dermatologist, regular visit, nothing earth-shattering, however, I had various bits of my anatomy poked, snipped, and frozen. Things that didn't look "quite right" were removed.

A couple of spots on my ears (port and starboard), and one on my face, were frozen off with liquid nitrogen. A fun thing I've blogged about before.

The Missus Herself accompanied me and at the office inquired of the doc, "Can you remove those skin tags off of my husband?"

Not sure if he had heard her correctly, he looked at me, I was, of course, glowering at the love of my life and wondering just what transgression I had committed now for her to bring the wrath of needles and scissors upon me. I shook my head no. She, who simply must be obeyed indicated, politely but firmly, that what she said is what would be.

Something along these lines...

With that, the doc's comely assistant came into the room with a sharp needle and a selection of other medieval looking instruments. (Okay, they weren't that bad, all shiny and sterilized looking they were. Yeah, shiny.)

Said comely assistant indicated that I would feel a "slight pinch" with perhaps a "slight burning sensation."

The first one wasn't too bad.

The second, a bit worse.

The third through sixth felt as though I had been impaled on a saber and then dipped in lava. The comely assistant said, "Yes, those areas of your neck are probably more sensitive."

Trying to be funny, I wanted to say, "Ya think?" Which came out more along the lines of "Dear Lord, make it stop. Make it stop."

Not wanting to appear weak in front of the ladies, I grimaced manfully and stated, "Damn, that last one hurt."

Afterwards the "snipping of the skin tags," (about which I'll say no more) then proceeded. An event which left no impression on me. I was still smarting from having my ears and face deep frozen then the whole "impaled on a saber and dipped in lava" thing which made that which followed (the snipping) small beer indeed.

What with all of the manly grimacing and gnashing of teeth that were in it.

So yeah, that was fun.

Friday morning I'm going to the dentist, to try and forget all that.

If you read in the paper Saturday that I collapsed under torture and gave up everything I know, well I'll just say this, we all have our breaking point. Everyone, eventually, talks.

After all...


  1. Yes to all you described. (is there a super heated lava?)

    A while ago the skin doctor was cutting something off my back that needed to be checked and I knew I was going to be getting stitches.

    I am sure the doctor didn't put his knee in my back and then pull the stitches like he was pulling the laces tight on a pair of work boots, but it did feel that way.

    Early on in the relationship with this doctor I explained that I would react to what I consider to be an unacceptable level of pain by "Screaming like a little girl, and so loudly they will hear me from the parking lot." Then I stared at him with that non-blinking look that every senior non-com uses. We get along fine now.

    And more seriously, all this bad stuff on skin is better caught earlier than later.

    Good post.

    1. Ah, you've been there, done that.

      Early is good, late is bad.

      I didn't scream like a little girl, it was like a sad whimpering noise.

  2. About ten years ago while I was at the doctor for my yearly checkup I mentioned to him that it would be nice if there was some way to get rid of skin tags. He said "I can remove them if you would like me to." I said "sure, when can we do it?" His comment was "I can do it right now." When I told him to proceed, all he did was to take out a pair of small surgical scissors and start snipping them off. No needles, no "slight pinch", nothing. The only real pain was when he would apply a styptic pencil to stop them from bleeding and that was just a slight sting. I will admit that I flinched a little when he started to do the first one but after that it wasn't too bad.

    1. Ah yes, just a snip. The mere thought of it makes me cringe. But then there's that whole "no needle" thing.

      Styptic pencils, my Dad had one for when he nicked himself shaving, do they still make those. Hhmm, need to look into that I do, I'm always gashing myself whilst shaving.

    2. You are very wise to see your dermatologist regularly. John nailed it when he said "all this bad stuff on skin is better caught earlier than later." My Grandma Lewis died from melanoma on the side of her head and her last 4 or 5 years were agonizing as there was nothing they could do about cancer back in the 50's and morphine just couldn't deaden the pain. She spent her last year living in our house and us kids were forbidden to be anywhere near her room when my Mom and Dad would change her bandages which had to be done at least twice a day. Being a typical kid, I managed to sneak in to watch the operation and it was pretty horrible. I had nightmares for a while afterward. Needless to say, I get checked regularly!!

    3. Not a good way to go, not at all.

    4. Yes they still make styptic pencils - keep one in my dopp kit. Useful since nicks tend to bleed a while when one is on an anticoagulant. Usually anhydrous aluminum sulfate, although some are made out of silver nitrate. For some reasons, vets and dog groomers use silver nitrate preferentially when trimming nails, maybe because it works better on the somewhat more severe bleeding from trimming a dog's nails too short.

      And I'll second that better to get checked annually at least to catch things early - had a colleague who thought the little spot on his arm wasn't a problem - it metastasized and he died of liver cancer from the primary melanoma lesion.

    5. I shall have to get one, it's kinda old school and I do nick myself now and then.

      Yeah, I don't fool around with my skin, if something looks odd, I get it checked!

  3. I haven't had the pleasure yet. I have a few of those tag thing...I think they'll stay a while.

  4. Yep, when SWMBO goes with me to the Doc I don't always get "MY Way".

    Last trip to the skin doc for a tiny spot between the eyebrows had me coming home with a split down the entire length of the schnozzle. That was so much fun.

  5. One of the reasons I drop in daily is for the not infrequent echos of the writings of a fellow yclept Lex:

    "What with all of the manly grimacing and gnashing of teeth that were in it."

    Thanx for that from the deep frozen deep south...

    1. It's one of the small ways I pay tribute to the man.

      Thanks Ryszardsh, stay warm!

  6. Skin tags? Yeah, I used to be a highly successful skin tag farmer. Would have them nicked off periodically.

    Then I had a stroke, went hard core low carb (Primal Blueprint, Mark Sisson), lost 50+ lbs and one day realized 90% of the current crop had just disappeared. So off to the 'net to do some reading. Sure enough, skin tags are associated with high carb loads, diabetes and pre-diabetes.

    Your body is sending signals... Jes' sayin'

    1. Message received. I need to lose weight, that's for sure.

      Thanks for that tip!

  7. Love me some gas at the dentist's office. Could not get work done without it. Insurance won't cover it? I DON'T CARE - HERE'S MY CREDIT CARD!! Doctors on the other hand seem to have never heard of the lovely nitrous, and instead claim to ease pain by stabbing you with needles first. At least for the deep joint shots I've received recently, they did use some lovely and cold topical sprays before hand, which seem to work quite well. Now if only the blood lab and immunization could get on the program......


    1. Anything to dull the pinch of the dreaded needle!

  8. Being cheap, I deal with my Celtic heritage skin issues with 35% food grade H2 O2. Works as well is liquid nitrogen. Done in private, no one hears you screaming and whimpering for the following thirty minutes.

    In places I can't reach, my sister helps. She enjoys hearing my moans. In fact, she becomes gleeful. Makes remarks about our childhood.

  9. I proudly bear the scars from when Dr. Zorro and his spastic alter ego attacked my face to remove some basil, cells that is, not the leaves. One side is all nice and smooth. The other? Looks like, well, if Jackson Pollak did skin surgery.

    And, thanks to the joys of my family's curse of not being able to handle any painkillers tougher than Advil, well, I slunk home to cry pitifully alone due to the THROBBING SEARING AWEFUL SEARING THROBBING PAIN. AAAAAHHhhHhhh. Fortunately most of the sniveling and peeing myself was over before Mrs. Andrew came home so some shred of my dignity was spared. Some. A small amount. Miniscule.

    The worse pain I have ever had (I have had broken and bruised ribs, a bruise from the knee to the abdomen from fighting, having Mr. Happy have a sports cup split and closed over him due to a rather forceful hit down there, along with assorted accidental stabbings and stuff like that, so I know want I am talking about) was when my body decided to not create enough mucus in the urinary tract (see, you learn all sorts of stuff here. Bet you never knew your urinary tract made mucus, did you?) Trip to the urologist to find out why it felt like I was peeing fire-ants and his answer was an ominous, "Let's see." (followed by an ominous smirk.) Which did not mean "Let's look at lab work." No. It really meant "Let's SEE!" So he brought out some sort of camera on a flexible shaft, what to me looked like those used in sewer inspections, and proceeded to proceed with the procedure of "Seeing what's Up! (Warning: Never go to a urologist who is overly cheery. This is the mark of a SADIST!)

    After two huge tubes of Lidocane shot up where Lidocane shouldn't go, which felt like someone took a syringe of liquid iron and shot it up the old wiz-wang, it was time for the picture show. So here is this large (6'4, looked like a running back) overly cheerful doctor holding a flexible telephone pole trying to shove it up Mr. Happy. I realized that I could hear screaming, lots of screaming, coming from somewhere. I looked at what I thought was the quite comely assistant, and the look of fear on her face told me all the noise was coming from, well, me. The doctor, still smiling (sadistic bastard, I was sure his mother wasn't married to his father!) said the overly helpful comment, "Well, things seem mighty tight up there, haha." (Did I tell you he was an overly cheerful sadist, probably ex-soviet torturer?) Followed by much more shoving. He did finally acknowledge the fact that he's never seen so tight a ureter (Oh, really? The screams didn't tell you anything?)

    For years, follow up office visits (that did not involve the dreaded sewer camera) involved him breaking out giggling when he saw me. As Dr. Smith from "Lost in Space" wisely said, "Oh, the pain, the pain..."

    I'm not even going to talk about the time a doctor got near the bald-headed twins with a pair of scissors. (Shudder, shudder...)

    1. Oh dear.

      (I was cringing as I read your comment, I would've curled into the fetal position had it been possible.)

    2. I was trying to curl up in the fetal position, but it just made the pain worse.

      And, of course, Mrs. Andrew was in the corner trying (not very hard) to not laugh.

      I am normally a stoic type of guy. The more quiet I get, the worse the pain or injury is. The time I was cutting some leather with an X-acto knife and slipped and stuck it in the inside of my leg was painful. All I said was, "Ooops." The time I stuck a knife all the way through one of my fingers, all I said was, "Dear, I think I need to go to the ER." But the giant railroad tunnel device he used was just too painful. I walked out of the Dr's office like I had been on the trail for 20 days hard riding.

      And the assistant? She was, as we men are wont to describe, 'smoking hot.' But I realized that about a third of the way through the procedure that the red coloring on her nails was from the blood of innocents and that she was actually a succubus!!! Amazing how excruciating pain tends to shift your perception.

    3. I'd laugh if it weren't so painful to think about, but that was almost as good as yesterday's rant.

    4. I consider it a successful post if it sets Andrew off. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.


    5. Succubus? We are an educated lot aren't we.

    6. Well, if Mrs. Andrew was not there, I would have tried to chat up the very good looking woman, as my inner-sight was cloudy. Hey, I'm not dead yet. Talking to women is one of the truly nice things about being a man. Not cheating-talking, just, well, talking.

      Once the flexible telephone pole of doom was inserted, on the other hand, I swear I saw horns on her head and batwings pop out and she started to speak in tongues. Or maybe my screaming was activating my tinnitus and it just washed out what she was saying.

      Succubus. The Doctor was some lesser demon from Hell, laughing and chortling at the sufferings of a mere mortal (did I tell you he was pro-football player big? And wife commented on his Cary Grant good looks. No mortal could possibly be big, good looking and a doctor without making a pact with the Debil.)

      As to setting me off, I wouldn't be blowing my verbal foot off if you wouldn't toss so many tempting land mines out. Yeesh, it's like a plot to actually exercise my fingers and brain, rather than rattling off my weirdness to Mrs. Andrew.. ..... Hey, did she put you up to this so I wouldn't talk her ear off? I sense a plot lurking around here. But no woman could ever be so devious, could she? Not my angel, no, nope, never happen...

    7. Plot? Me?


      Juvat on the other hand...

    8. What, not blaming it on Tuna? Those Naval types are underhanded, doncha know.

    9. Andrew needs to take that show on the road. Dam funny it is.

  10. You need to find a different way to have fun. Seriously though, I hope that you come out the other end of these procedures in shape to entertain us/me with your tales for many decades to come.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Good point, but then I'd have less material to post.

  11. Your impassioned tale put me in mind of this:

    1. Sigh...

      Allen Sherman was one of my favorites as a lad, a talented man who died far too young.

      Skin, loved the song.

  12. How is it you need skin frozen off? I'm not sure I've even seen the sun in lil Rhody. By the way, there's a ton of home remedy videos on youtube for removing skin tags painlessly, including one using dental floss.

    1. Hahaha!

      Home remedies? YouTube? Bear in mind, this was something the female members of the tribe desired, not I, so I wasn't actively looking for a remedy.

      Dental floss? I might check that out, simply for the entertainment that might be in it.


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