May 30th, 2018
Continuing the story of what halted my travel to Alaska with the following disclaimer-lite. Be aware that the current theme I am using places the whole post and not just a summary. I plan on going into some detail that not only is very personal but definitively graphic in nature. If you feel you do not want to read this for it may offend you or may reveal too much about me, please move on. I intend to write about more travel exploits soon to catch up from the previous as well as new ones. Thanks for understanding.
(Still Wednesday, March 28th, 2018)
So, after a quick stop at home to drop off the groceries, let Lily out, and then crate her again, I headed to the surgeon’s office. I was informed previously, that he resided in the same building as women’s health but not to let that scare me off. I found the building across the street from the hospital and tried to find a spot. With all the walking I was doing and the swelling of the thing in my groin increasing, my pain was going from intolerable to suicidal. I will say it was still less painful than the kidney stone I had in the past. Speaking of past medical issues, I forgot to mention that I still didn’t know what this was, and my doctor was not saying it was cancer, but she was concerned about me and cancer in general as my family history was making my present chances to get it bleak. Maybe not in this circumstance, but I was still prone. As I rounded the parking lot for the second time, I parked in the back of the building several rows out.
I limped into the office and spoke to the person I discussed payment with earlier in the day. I handed over my credit card, which has a husky on it, and we started talking dogs and her child, and how mine was basically my child. Payment was made, I was given forms and taken in back to fill them out. I was told the surgeon had a meeting he needed to attend at about the same time as my appointment and he was still in the middle of a procedure at the hospital. As the hospital was right next door, that was not an issue, but he might need to interrupt my care to attend the meeting. I filled out the paperwork and waited. The nurse took my BP and pulse, and it increased since earlier in the afternoon. I’m not a fan of blades being taken to my body nor needles.
He eventually showed and was not that late, but I was concerned we were going to get interrupted. I got clarification that he had already attended the meeting and he was mine for the rest of the afternoon because I was his last appointment. By now, it was about 3:30 p.m. and my pain was increasing. Also, the fact that I was in a surgeon’s office did not make me feel comfortable.
I was asked to take my shorts down and make my problemed area visible, so, like earlier, I shifted my underwear to allow access to the said area. The surgeon took one look at it and gasped. He was not happy with the look of it and called it angry. It was red and swollen. He initially thought it was a hernia but had to leave for a few. When he returned, he said he was going to need to cut it and drain. I asked about anesthesia because I didn’t want to be awake for any of this. He said that he could not do that. They could only do that at the hospital. My stress level just increased from a high nine to a ten.
He had me remove my underwear, and he handed me a paper sheet to cover myself. Although he was male, I still was not in the habit of being undressed in front of anyone, unless I was intimate with them. That was not the case here unless you consider the fact that this guy was going to cut into me, which I guess was as intimate as it gets. And the kicker, I had to pay for this.
So, there I was, nude under a sheet while this… I didn’t describe him yet. The doctor had an accent I was trying to place when I met him. He told me he was from Nigeria but got a bit of a different accent when he lived in Jamaica. He seemed pretty nice, and nothing seemed to bother him, other than the color of my area of concern.
What I was going to say about the doctor was he was patient and kind. He truly understood what I was going through and was being much nicer than most people would have been about it, but at the same time, he was detached and wanted to get his job done. Maybe it was because I watch a lot of medical dramas and I see how surgeons are portrayed there, but he seemed more intent on getting the job done than my care at times. Honestly, that should be the way it is, but at that moment, and the ones that followed, I wasn’t feeling it.
So, he grabbed his gear and I saw the knives and other instruments of pain. I recently watched Marathon Man again, after this occurred and I fully understood the horror. “Is it safe,” was all I kept thinking as I heard the tools clink metal on metal. He pulled the sheet aside and I held it in place, so nothing showed. Just in case anyone is not aware, male parts can be pushed to the side to expose the area I was having issue with. He then lifted a bottle of liquid upside-down as he inserted a needle into it and drew the liquid into the syringe. I had never been a fan of needles, but I did a medical study and during it had 48 blood draws in three weeks. I got over it and even give blood on a sporadic basis. My trick is to turn away and wince. I did that now. Head turned, and I winced as he injected a numbing agent into my groin. It hurt. And it hurt bad. I thought it was going to be a one and done. The turn and wince only work when it is a single shot. He then did it again. And again. I started to get edgier and shifty. My natural instinct is to run. In this case, turn to avoid. I went from a 10 to a 10.5 on anxiety. I say 10.5 because I discovered not only can it go higher but much higher.
Rather than doing my other natural instinct, which is usually my first option when it comes to being in a stressful situation, I opted not to punch him. Instead, I clenched my left fist and covered it with my right and pulled every time I felt pain and would typically wince because the more I shifted, the harder his job was. Instinctively I did not want him to do his job, but I knew I needed this done. I did ask again if he could put me under and he said it was not possible. He shot my groin several more times and then proceeded to cut. I continued to pull my hand and mentioned I could feel the pain of his cutting. I neglected to say that I freaked out when the area was covered with iodine and another liquid, but when he started cutting, as much as it was supposed to be numb, it was not. He waited a bit longer for it to take effect, but that only made me more anxious.
At one point, I saw he took another syringe and pulled a sample he said they were going to test. It looked white and opaque. Other than that, all I saw was a scalpel, needles, and a pair of tweezers. He continued to cut, and I continued to pull my hand. It was getting more and more painful, and I was getting more and more shifty and anxious. I was at 11 at this point. He needed to use more of the numbing agent. Because I was able to feel what was going on, he said he needed to go deeper, and he did, and I hit 11.5. It was hurting, and the tears were streaming. I wasn’t sobbing, per say, they were just drooling from my eyes. As he went in the next time, he must have hit a nerve because I jumped that time and was in about the same level of pain as when I had my kidney stone.
I apologized several times. Tried to make jokes and/or delay the pain. I also mentioned I must have been mistaken about my pain threshold as I said I was at a 6 when I got there, but I seemed to have been off the chart at that point. He tried to distract me by talking about my dog, or hobbies, or my watch. Unfortunately, I saw through all of that and started to have genuine conversations with him, and I know he didn’t really care. You know that look people give you when they have absolutely no interest at all about what you are saying. That was what he was giving me. At least that is what I assume because I was tear-filled and couldn’t see much. I do recall it as interesting how he presented the conversation about my smartwatch. He asked what kind mine was because he was looking into them and wanted to know what I thought of mine. This made me sit up and tell him the model and other things, but he really wanted to use that as a distraction and not a means to get my attention.
By now, I had to have had 18 shots of numbing agent, and he was well into the second bottle. So, as he was slicing, he got to a point where he had issues draining. He got through two of the pockets and was working on a third. I was at the point where I almost pulled my hand out of the socket. I heard the clicking of two pieces of metal and had to look. Every time I heard something I had to stop him. He told me not to, and honestly, I couldn’t see anything, but I imagined things. I did look at the tweezers in hand, and I did notice he had the scalpel. I felt him poking around, and I asked about putting me under.
He had suggested, earlier, that I go to the hospital and I asked for a rough estimate of what I was looking at. He couldn’t tell me, and that did not seem like a viable option now that he cut, but when he got to the point where he was having these issues of digging, I was reconsidering. We had hit past 5:30 p.m. and his office was closed. Supposedly, we were the only ones there as no one stayed past close. He said it was getting late and he needed to go soon. He suggested I go to the ER on several occasions and at one point asked which was closest to my house. I joked he wanted to know so he could have someone else deal with me. He half-laughed. At this point, he told me I should go home and go to the ER the next morning. He would be there, but I could not get an appointment. He had an appointment at the hospital at 8 and would see me after. He had me gather my belongings and get dressed. He handed me another paper sheet to clean myself, and at that point, I was nude and embarrassed. So, the stress of the entire situation, coupled with the fact that I was standing without my underwear on and exposed, I turtled. I turtled a lot at that point, which was pretty much what I wanted to do with my actual head. He said not to eat anything after midnight and sent me on my way with a clump of gauze between my legs. Someone from the office did stay to help clean up, and I left a mess. There were blood and sweat, and possibly other fluids all over the place. Because the office had closed, the front door was locked, and they had to let me out the back exit. That was further from my car than the first. I slowly waddled my way back to my car across the parking lot covered in sweat and bleeding from my thigh.
I eventually got into my car and contacted the friend that I informed I was home. I was actually texting with them the whole time I was able to. They were supportive during and after. I asked if she would go with me to the hospital the next morning. There were some logistics involved that I would deal with later, but overall, I wanted to go home and to sleep after eating something. I did end up telling my sister what the deal was as well, and she expected me to be a big baby about this, as she was like that and we are similar.
Tomorrow… the hospital.