Saturday, June 4, 2011

What's been on me

As you've probably noticed prior to this week I haven't been posting much. At first I was just kinda burnt out and not doing anything and then the last few weeks I've been dealing with a pesky mole. I am so done with medical tape, SO DONE WITH IT. I hate it. I've had this mole for at least 15 years I'd say. It was always one that doctors told me, oh yeah don't worry about it. I am a moley person and I haven't had any issues really, did have a mole removed when I was somewhere around 16 I think. No issues with that, it was cored out and I don't really remember having any issues. The tests came back on it and the cells were atypical but that was just a fact and nothing to worry about apparently they took enough out.

I went to the dermatologist on April 21st after been referred there by my primary doctor who I saw in late March. The dermatologist said the mole I was having issues with was not a big deal but we can remove it because it was a raised mole and in the center of my back and was bothering me. My hair had been getting caught on it for a few years and my previous doctor said he could remove it if it really bothered me but at that point it wasn't but I had finally gotten sick of it. So she sliced it off, no big deal at all. She had looked at my skin before hand and saw all my tattoos, except the two on my legs because my moles are pretty much only on my torso but when she injected the numbing stuff and I didn't flinch she said, oh you are a tough one, oh really? you just saw my tattoos you really think a single needle and a bit of burning is going to bother me. I almost laughed out loud at her. The mole was just simply sliced off, I was left with a dime size wound which, I am told by my husband, was a bit of a hole in my back as well, I guess it was more scooped out than just sliced off, I couldn't see any of her tools but I'm imagining something like a super sharp melon baller, but I am a bit of a sadistic person. It is just to the left of my spine next to my left shoulder blade, you know right in the spot you can't
really reach or even see. She said they'd send it to the lab to be tested just to be safe.

If it wasn't for my husband I probably would have ended up with a gross infected wound but he washed it for me every day and applied the bandage and really took care of everything, especially me. The wound healed in about 2 and a half weeks and was finally able to not be bandaged at all. I think a week and a half into it I got the test results back. Apparently the results came back atypical and they wanted to remove more skin from the area. This procedure was scheduled for a few weeks later. I was so upset about it, because of the more bandaging. I did not deal well with the adhesive. I was given bandaids to use and they were the ones sold as finger bandaids the ones the look like two triangles point to point. You know kinda like this:
>< After 5 days I couldn't take it anymore. I was dying. I kept getting this sharp stabbing pains and other pains. Three days after the removal I realized it wasn't the actual wound it was the skin under the bandaids adhesive part. I went to the store and bought non stick pads and some paper tape and started using that. Five days after I switched to tape and was putting it on vertically versus horizontally like the bandaid was, you could see exactly where the original bandaid was because the skin was still bright red. My skin was still painful and it was starting to peel and was so itchy. It was horrible. The idea of having to do it all over again was not something I was looking forward to.

Here's what I was left with, that large dark dot on the right side (mirror picture), I don't have pictures of the wound before it was healed, you're welcome, I had a few people say, EW!! when they saw it. Rich liked to make gag noises when he washed my back and put ointment on it every night, made me laugh a lot which was very welcome actually. I don't have a picture of the mole either because I never liked the thing, it's pretty much the only mole I have that I actually didn't like, the others I don't care about at all, they are just part of me.
I had a week without a bandage on and I went back to the dermatologist for the second procedure on May 26th and really had no idea what I was getting done, specifically. I wasn't worried about any of that I was worried about the bandaging process. So I'm lying there draped in a lot of clothes and being injected with a lot of numbing stuff, which was a lot more painful this time, apparently I was flinching a bit this time because we had to do a second does on one side cause I could still feel the pricking. I'm lying there feeling all this tugging and pulling and it took a lot longer than I thought it would. He then explains what he is doing and how I am getting dis-solvable stitches inside to do most of the healing work and ones on the outside to hold it all closed and let the inner ones do the hard work. From what I could feel, which was just tugging etc I thought I had somewhere between 3 and 5 stitches. I was a bit shocked at how much flesh was taken out. When I was all stitched up and the nurse was cleaning and bandaging me I watched the NP put a stitch in the top part of the removed flesh so when they did more testing they would know how it was situated when it was still part of me. I was shocked at how big it was, I could have made a good sized extra thumb with it. Very thick piece of flesh, no wonder why it took a while and I felt quite a bit of tugging. The nurse told me to keep the bandage on for 3 days and then gave me more bandaids, I said I didn't react well to the bandaid last time and she gave me some other things to use so I was hopeful.

When I got home I looked at my back and my bandage was HUGE, ok not that big but a lot bigger than I thought it would be, and it was quite bloody. I wasn't impressed and wanted it off but was told to leave it on so I did. Lovely no?
I took it off finally on Saturday night and took a shower. I had Rich take a picture of it for me and my response was HOLY FUCK! I had 8 stitches and it was a lot longer than I thought it would be.
That's going to be a nice scar, no? Good thing I don't care about scars. I would much rather have a scar to tell a story than a mole that annoys me and could cause issues. I was bruised and sore for a few days and going to work on Friday, the day after getting it done, was probably one of the worst decisions I could have made. All the bandaids, bandages I was given were WAY too small for my wound so I went straight to the non-stick pads and paper tape I had. It still isn't great but it's better, not too much pain but my skin is still 'tape burnt' and it still itches and it seems to be sticking a lot more because taking it off every night is my least favorite part. I am a big giant baby when it comes to bandaids/tape though, I can't even take regular bandaids off myself, I always have to have Rich rip them off for me.

I get the stitches taken out on Monday, 11 days after it was done. Rich says it looks really good and is healing well. It's hard to sleep because I can't/don't want to sleep on my back but other than that I don't have many complaints. I just can't wait until this is all over with. Still waiting on the most recent test results, the NP did say that the previous ones weren't too 'screwy' they just wanted to be pro-active on the issue. Better safe than sorry. I'm not positive what atypical means but from what I remember from my first mole removal they aren't cancerous but the doctors want to take all of it out in case the cells 'decide' to go that way or something like that. I've been told it's nothing to worry about and I refuse to worry too much about it because I have 2 giant fear in my life, wild/brush fires, which happen ALL the time in my area, and skin cancer. I have to stay with calm or I will totally freak out. If the doctors are fine with what I have and are fine with what they've done with this one then I will be to, I do NOT want to unnecessarily go through this again just because I am scared or something.

So this is what I have until Monday, 8 lovely stitches right in the area I can't easily see or reach or anything and not so much any more but at first I could feel every move I made, even deep breaths, it didn't hurt exactly but I could feel it. Go get a bandaid or something sticky and put it on your back between your shoulder blades and move your arms around, you will feel every move you make, so annoying. In this picture (another mirror one, it's actually on my left side) you can see the redness a bit on both sides from the tape. I think I had the bandage off for a few hours at this point while I was sitting watching tv at home, I just have to give my skin a rest from the tape.
So that's what has been on my mind mostly these days in case you were wondering.

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