Monday, August 23, 2021

It's always Something!

 Seems like I've been living in Doctor's offices this past couple of weeks.  First there's the follow up visit to the surgeon to take a look at my hands after the Carpal Tunnel surgeries.  He's very happy with the results and, apart from the occasional need to massage the site(s), so am I.  

I also had a visit with my cardiologist.  I found out I needed to do that when my prescription for my (very important) blood thinner couldn't be refilled because I hadn't seen him in over a year.  We had met virtually during the wu-flu festivities a year ago, last spring.  He had ended the call by saying he'd get his helpers to give me a call and schedule.  Apparently, we both forgot.  In any case, the prescription has been renewed, the EKG is good, blood pressure....well, it is what it is.

I also had my normal every 4 month visit with my regular doctor.  Weight's down quite a bit, Heart and Lungs clear, shots are up to speed.  Did I get the vax? Yes, doctor I did. Only because Mrs J asked me to.  Did I have any concerns?  Well, Doc would you take a look at this thing on my head? It's driving me crazy.

He gets out his magnifying glasses and "hmm's" a couple of times with an "uh-oh" or two thrown in for an enhanced dramatic effect, then says "I think you need to see a dermatologist, since it has grown and changed color since your last visit."

That afternoon, I get a call from the dermatologist's office, saying the Doctor would like to see me first thing Monday morning.  This was Friday.  Monday arrives and I'm ushered into the room,  Dr Derm asks what's the issue, I point to my forehead and explain that I've had it a while, but it's been growing and changed colors.

"Hmmm, let me take a look."

He gets out his magnifying glasses, looks at it for a couple of minutes then says "we're going to have to take it off."  

I say,   "When?" and "Why?"

"Right now"

"It might be a squamous cell carcinoma, and we'll need to do a biopsy."

I'll confess, I used a bad word after the "Ahh" in my next statement.

So, a few minutes later, I've got a bandaid on my head and the little beastie is gone.  The next day I get a call and caller ID says it's Dr Derm.  I think to myself if it's the doctor himself, or they want to schedule an appointment, it's not good news.  

I answer, and it's the lady at the front desk.  She says the sample came back.  It's just a wart.

I've been thanking frogs ever since.

Once the scab clears, shouldn't even be much of a scar.


  1. Most excellent news juvat. Physical last month, doc says" Hmmm, heart murmer so you need to have EKG, echocardiogram and heart scan. Last one reveals "an ill-defined nodule in lower lobe of left lung"......gaaahhh. So off for a PET scan and an oncologist visit six days after that scan. That medical oncologist said "It's tiny and semi-gelatinous, don't believe it's cancer but rather than go a year before another scan we'll get you back in here in six months". Resume breathing.....parents never smoked nor I but first eight and a half years with SSA people smoked like fiends in that one office.....hmmm. Only thing golden about the golden years is the urine........:)

    1. I have a similar heart issue, hence the blood thinner and a few other pills. Walking 2-3 miles a day has helped in a lot of ways. Although the standard Texas Summer heat combined with an unwelcome level of Humidity has made the walking less pleasant lately. Looking forward to Fall, aka December.

    2. Nooo... because part of the Golden Years is fun with the bladder and kidneys and you can have non-golden urine or myine and that requires a visit to a doctor who will try to shove a 1970's era video camera up the wee-wee hole. DAMHIK.

    3. Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

  2. Almost every trip to the dermatologist results in waiting for the lab report on some snip or the other.
    Some skin thingies get treated with the Nitrogen spray of doom, others get more involved excavations and a few have gotten a Mohs procedure.
    The good news is that seeing the dermatologist greatly lessens the chances of hearing, "If you had only got this looked at sooner."

    The last change to my blood pressure medicine combines the medicine with an exercise element.
    How so you ask? This tweak added something to the basic mix that makes we need to, shall we say, get rid of excess liquids far more often than before.
    I'm going to count walking to the bathroom and back as exercise.

    I will add on to what Nylon12 said about the golden years. And both my parents smoked right up until my teens.

    We dodged the bullet as Henri sailed by and added only about an inch and a quarter to the rain gauge.

    Keep taking care.

    1. Thanks, John,

      Every step counts, but I think the ones to the bathroom count double, triple if your sprinting there.

      Glad Henri missed you.

    2. I've had two Mohs procedures, that's where they use this curved scalpel thingy to scoop out a section and run it over to the awaiting microscope. First one looks like Zorro did it. The second one looks like a drunken Zorro who sneezed at the wrong moment did it.

      Glad you didn't have to go to the repeated scoop and scope, as that way lies pain and agony, and this is from a guy who likes getting hit (wait, that sounded... weird... even for me, well, you know what I mean.)

    3. That certainly doesn't sound like my idea of a good time. Either of the paragraphs.

  3. What is it with our bodies, growing useless stuff in our advancing age? Warts, moles, skin tags, strange things they are. God must have a sense of humor.

    1. Just plan something and his sense of humor presents itself.

    2. Tuna. And weirdly located hairs. Why does my body think I need a few hairs growing up from the top of my ears?

    3. I'm glad someone remembered the hairs!

    4. Tuna, Good question, and I think it's a tremendous sense of humor.

      Skip, you're right, BTDT!

      John, Well....if you look at the pictures, you'll see that I comb those hairs over the top, It's cheaper than a toupee.

      Rob, Hairs are precious, they must be preserved.

    5. Mrs. Andrew says all those weirdly located hairs are from the ones on the top of my head falling through the empty brain area and lodging elsewhere.

      I don't believe her.

      As to weird hairs, the random 3-5" head hair from inside the ear canal is the weird one that gets me. I understand the werewolf pelt on the back of my neck, but poking out of my ear?

      Or the Mentat hairs growing on the eyebrow. Which is worse now that der Shingles wiped out my right eyebrow and my left one is going all crazy socialist professor look. So, well, a-plucking I will go...

      And finally, in these later years, I have achieved at least a half-Selleck, maybe even a three quarter-Selleck, mustache. Much better than the weedy thin baby caterpillar I had when I got married.

    6. Given your proximity to UofF-Gainsville, I'd say you've got a good camouflage for when the fecal matter hits the spinning air mover.

  4. My PCP keeps me informed of when and where I should show up.
    MB let’s me know if I should inform him of any issues.
    I’m vaccinated. That’s all I have to say about it.
    The only med I take is for my blood pressure. I have been taking it for more than twenty years. It works.
    It’s only a small wonder that I haven’t been referred to the Dermatologist.
    Happy for you about warts.
    Even happier for me that I am feeling young enough for cross country road trips and painting rooms (may tell that story . . . For now it’s just a photo a day on the blog).
    MB posts the trip stuff at koobecaf.

    1. Skip,
      Mrs J has a similar role in my life. I'm ok with that.
      I wish I only took one med.
      Mrs J is planning two wine cruises for the first of next year. Something to look forward to.

  5. Wow, so you really are a wart head. Juvat Wart-Head. That has a certain lord of the ring to it. Kinda reminds me of Uncle Buck, the movie: "Here's a quarter, take a bus downtown and have a rat eat that thing off your face!" Great writing.

    Wear long sleeves and a hat! Although a hat is probably why you got that extrusion. And those speedos will have to go....

    Glad you are just growing warts and not something dangerous.

    1. Thanks, STxAR, I like you too.

      I wear a hat most of the time if I'm outside for any length of time, that hasn't always been the case though, so....

      Me too.

    2. Love "Uncle Buck." Great movie, totally worth a watch at least once a year as it keeps delivering the laughs.

      Yeah, hats and sunglasses, I avoided them for too long, now I've got burnt-out vision in my right eye and two skin cancers removed from my forehead. And a collection of hats. Not a collection of sunglasses. I have... two (two is one, one is none) and they're made or sold by DeWalt and they are safety glasses (even rated for going shooting in, if I ever get to go shooting again.) Buy them at Lowes or scAmazon. Highly recommended, they come in a variety of styles from 'ugly but cheap' (my favorite) to looking fashionable and nice.

      Got my daily hat and my sunglasses hanging off the door (magnetic hook) so I always have them at face level when I get ready to go out.

    3. It's been a while since I've watched "Uncle Buck", may have to renew my currency.

      When I got new lenses for my glasses, I asked them if they had self-darkening lenses that didn't require UV to darken. My previous pair did and wouldn't darken when I was driving. Turns out that technology was developed recently and my new lenses work pretty well at becoming sunglasses.

  6. The eye doc today, my yearly dermo visit next month (had the bad news from the lab 28 years ago, the second set of samples came back clean so I visit every year). The odd hairs just seem to do their own thing...
    It's good to be alive!

    1. Rob, I suspect that regular visit will be advised on my next visit to my regular Doc. Glad you dodged that bullet.

      Yes, yes it is!

  7. Ah yes, the various doctor visits: regular doc, dentist, dermatologist, optometrist, ophthalmologist...

    Somewhere there is an entire medical school relying on us old guys to stay alive.

    1. One of my wife's specialist doctors is in a huge practice with just about every other kind of doctor so if we wanted to we could go to every one of her doctors in the same building.

      The very same building as the back doctor she sees. The back doctor who also works with two weird doctors who do electric probes up the spine or injections into the spinal region.

      So lots of back patients. Lots and lots of back patients.

      And 4 handicapped parking slots. And the parking lot is on a slope.

      For lots of back patients.

      Er... no. I drive her up to the front door, unload, and then have to find parking in Tennessee hill country level of slope. At the back doctor.

      We go elsewhere if possible.

    2. Had to visit those doctors when I injured my neck at Kadena. No fun and I decidedly do NOT want to go back. However...Probably inevitable.

  8. Always good to get good news from a doctor. You may begin regular breathing again.

    1. You're right Gerry, I was a little snippy that weekend, but I told Mrs J and told her she was NOT to tell anyone else until we'd gotten a definitive answer. Potentially bad news is something neither of my kids need to hear at this point.

  9. Ah, the head scoop and scope. Not bad if it's one or two scoops. It's bad when you've been there for 4 hours and the doc has scooped continuously every 15-20 minutes and is mumbling things like "If I don't get it this time, we need to send him to the...mumble mumble."

    Glad it's just a wart. Considering the levels of radiation you were exposed to in the good old days, it could have been worse.

    And I hate going to the doctor. Really hate it when the outside temperature/humidity is set to Bake/Steam and you have to open the car up 5-10 minutes early in order to let the heat and steam out.

    Glad everything is o-tay.

    The joys of having good insurance that allows you to see docs on a regular basis.

    Come to think of it, I really need to call the eye docs and finally reschedule an appointment... eh, I'll get around to it (just kidding, will do it after I sign out.)

    1. I know it hasn't been Florida hot and humid, but the humidity level here has been well above normal. But the rain finally stopped long enough to get the hay cut and baled, so...we've got that going for us. (To quote from another great movie)

  10. Glad the prognosis is good, juvat.
    Wow, we really are a family here judging by the level of sharing about health issues - kinda like going to a family reunion and listening to everyone talk about their various ailments, medications, bunions and other even more intimate things bordering on TMI...
    But that comment is not a dig, the family atmosphere is really nice to see...
    And yes, I'm in the same boat - on multiple meds for BP and heart rhythm and anticoagulation and allergies ets. I am fair skinned and spent a fair bit of time in my youth outside without sunscreen (who used it back then??) so have had several things scooped out, to use Beans' terminology. Last one was after the dermatologist said "you have a melanoma on your face"... dramatic pause to let my mind go to the worst case place ..."but it's only stage 0/in situ so should not be an issue long term" So had a Mohs procedure that took out about a half dollar sized hunk from the right side of my face, but I gotta say my surgeon did a damn decent job of stitching it back up ... sure there's a scar, but not too bad ... almost wish it was not as good so I could lay claim to a dueling injury ...
    Y'all take care, and thanks for letting me hang out as part of this odd assortment of good people ...

    1. Thanks Tom,
      Yeah...I'm not sure that scooping thing is something to look forward to.
      Family (albeit extremely extended family) is what Sarge was striving for back in the dawn of time (when he was young) when he started this blog.

  11. So I went to see my primary doc 1 month ago, he was happy with the blood pressure, and told me to get the blood work done after I got back from vacation. So I went 2 weeks ago, and then today,I saw the cardiologist doc (when did the docs get so young??)
    he was very happy with my dramatically improved cholesterol (down down 100 points), glucose (at the high end of normal, but in the normal range),and triglyceride numbers (down 75 points). With no new changes in my EKG either.

    Yes, the meds do work. Yes, I do feel better, and yes, I am staying outta fast food places...which is difficult as they do have toilets and parking lots as well as food, which as a visiting nurse are very important items. And the fast food places are quick, instead of running into a diner. So I can eat in the car, and get some paperwork done if I get a lunch break.

    I also have been walking my talk, so low sodium food choices, which banishes bacon and fries...sigh...and sweet tea.
    I have been trying to get back to the gym, to do more walking, except when I have a C-19 positive pt, then I'm banned from the gym for 2 weeks.

    I bought a house, and moved in, so have been working on hauling stuff in from the garage, unpacking the box and then running stuff up/down stairs...I figure that counts as exercise. And, when I bought the lawn mower I got the walk behind one instead of the riding when doing the back yard my Fitbit thingy said I did 9,500 steps...kinda wish I had gotten the riding one. Lol. If it ever quits raining here, I will be able to get back out and mow my grass before it turns into hay.

    My BP was ok...I had forgotten to take my meds this morning, but remembered it as I was on the way to the cardiology appt. I carry a couple of extras in a small pill bottle in my purse so took one at the red light. Some nurse I am!

    Luckily, I don't have weird skin things growing yet...or not that I can see...but if I'm not careful I could grow a beard that would make a motorcycle dude envious. Tweezers are absolutely a handy tool! Growing old is definitely not for the weak!

    Congrats on your carpel tunnel successes, and on just having a mole! Talk about having a load fall off your shoulders!!!

    1. Suz,
      Glad things have worked out in the move. We're within a couple of weeks of our move in anniversary, still got a lot of unpacked boxes, but they're making their way into the attic or dumpster. So...Keep on sluggin.

      As to, BP, I can be waiting for the doctor in the examining room and look at my watch and it'll be in the 110-120 range. In comes the nurse and as soon as she takes out the cuff, I can look at my watch and it's in the 140-150 range which she usually confirms within a few points. Don't know what the problem is. Well, except for the things going on around the world these days.


    2. "so low sodium food choices, in which banishes bacon and fries...sigh...and sweet tea". Sweet tea? Is there salt in sweet tea?

    3. Juvat, the 'white coat syndrome' that elevates BP as soon as a medical professional walks in the room to measure BP is well documented....

    4. Rob,
      No, but, it do taste good, therefore it must be bad for you.

    5. Tom,
      Probably, and probably a result of annual flight physicals. Not passing one of those meant grounding which tensed me up, which increased the chances....

    6. yes coat syndrome is a real thing, even for folks that wear white coats...sigh.
      And, no, there is no salt in sweet tea, however there IS a bunch of sugar...of which I was told to cut WAAAY down on as my glucose readings were creeping up. I taught diabetes self management education for 25+ years, full time. Just because I know how to handle it doesn't mean I want to...ounce of prevention being worth much more than a pound of cure IMHO. Much easier to switch to unsweetened tea with a lot of lemon in it instead.

  12. (Don McCollor)...Back some years I had a sty on one eyelid that was getting annoying. The Old School doctor looks at it - hum. Turns to the nurse and asks if she wants to help with some minor surgery, then turns to me "Lay Down!!!". Halfway the brief procedure, he says "S--T!!!". Now THAT grabs your attention...

    1. I worked for a Master Chief Gunner's Mate who graded gunnery exercises on a simple pass/fail scale. He put on a set of sound powered phones plugged into the Captain's circuit. If nobody said "OH SH-- the grade was a pass. Old Guns

    2. Don,
      I can see how that might focus your attention somewhat!

    3. OG,
      I'm ok with that grading scale, seems logical.

  13. Juvat, I have been praying for the surgery on your hands and am glad that it is going well. Also glad to hear the mysterious thing was nothing more than a wart - but yes, completely correct to get it looked at early. From what hear from my elders, the cut-off/burned off/frozen off becomes a thing.

    Oddly enough, I went the doctor for my annual physical (two years delayed) and read your article before I went. Thankfully, mine was incredibly quick - he poked, prodded, listened to me breathe and my heart, took some blood, and said see him next year.

    1. THBB,
      Always thankful for prayers, so THANKS. Glad your physical went well. No news is good news.

  14. Everybody is playing catch up with doc appts... sigh... Glad it was a 'simple' fix!

    1. OldNFO,
      Yeah, I wasn't really impressed with a video appointment with my cardiologist.
      "How are you feeling?"
      "Great, see you next year"
      Just not as confident in the results without at least a listen to my heart thing. So, glad we're back to a "more" normal method.

  15. Regarding Tuna's remark, the greatest indignity of the grey hair is not those around the ear, my friend, but those to be found emanating from the eyebrow, for they can grow a good four or five inches between yesterday's look in the mirror and today's, and did I mention the mutant thing wrapped around my eyeglasses and darned near gave me whiplash when I pulled my glasses off? Took a good-sized pair of wire cutters to escape its clutches, my poor Swiss army knife's scissors not being up to the task. When did I start excreting steel wire and why was I not warned of this by my elders?

    It's funny how as we get older we take these little oddities on our skin more seriously. I have the scar still where a wart (I think) did once appear and for months I kept it in check by carefully carving bits of it out with the corkscrew on my Swiss army knife during English class, it being my mother tongue and hence not requiring a lot of mental focus. Eventually there was less to dig and and it sort of healed over. Today? My Good Wife would have me at a dermatologist before I'd finished my first coffee of the day. But that's the way I was raised... It might also explain why, of the last three generations of men in my family, I'm running second for longest-lived. Maybe the wife is right, but don't tell her I admitted to it.

    1. Natch,
      Thanks for the chuckle this morning, well done!

      I won't mention it to her, if you don't mention the same thing to my wife.

  16. Here in Arizona I will get carved or burnded two orthree time a year. Have for the last 20 something years. The one that got carved took three times and a skin graft. Now at 75 I am a little more carefull


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