Friday, October 09, 2009

More ways to alienate readers: sharing personal medical information!

I have spared pictures only because I don't have any.

Call me strange (it wouldn't be the first time), but having stitches put in my arm is the most fun I've had in a while.

Growing up, I was one of those kids who had the bum luck of having one's health completely in tact, possessing an indestructible set of bones, and an imperviousness to all childhood inflictions, such as the chicken pox, being beat up on school playgrounds, etc. I used to pray that I too could break my arm playing whiffle ball, get a hot pink cast and have my classmates write uplifting messages on it like "Get well soon," "I hope your arm heels" [sic], and "You suck at whiffle ball." The amount of attention and sympathy a child in a cast received was astounding, and at the time, enviable.

I never got that day, because as I mentioned, I am completely 100% healthy all the time and have never had anything remotely wrong with me in twenty-five years. That is, until last week. My eight year-old cousin had pointed out a bump on my arm that seemed to appear out of nowhere. My aunt saw her within inches of the unidentifiable bump, panicked, and immediately sent her to the other room while I was promptly quarantined. I had previously noticed the offending bump but ignored it because "imperfection is perfection" but also because I am very lazy.

To get more to the point, we are in an age where it has become increasingly important to put things into two camps: cancer and not cancer. Wanting to secure its place in the "not cancer" category, I made a trip to the doctor, who immediately placed me in the middle of a surgical amphitheater and had me put under anesthesia while being surrounded by several world-renowned surgeons who played Rock-Paper-Scissors to decide who made the first incision (very slightly dramatized for effect).

While a team of diagnostic medicine experts worked around the clock to determine what ailment I was suffering from and how my life could be spared, while still being covered by my insurance plan, I put on very large bandages and only wore short-sleeve shirts. Finally, I had my chance to remove the medical tape (while making convincing facial expressions to imply how painful it is to rip off a Band-Aid) and reveal something that was actually, kind of gross and painful-looking. To my disappointment, my co-workers have not reacted to the injury I appear to be suffering from nor have they inquired how my health is. Or why the bandages have been getting progressively larger each day.

My older brother was positive that my unborn twin was hanging out inside my elbow. I considered the idea briefly, wondering what it would be like to meet my own unborn twin after twenty-five years of silence. Would it be any different than meeting my born twin?

The biopsy results were returned several days later and although my doctor did not specifically say that it was not cancer, her upbeat tone assured me that it was neither a tumor nor a misplaced twin. The whole event was such fun, however, that once the stitches are removed I may have to accidentally run into a doorknob or something just to get stitches again.


Jan said...

It's okay Free. I was that loser kid who once sprained her ankle by jumping idiotically into the shallow end and inevitably spraining her ankle. And it got nothing but shit for that for about one month!

baker said...

As a young lad I once had to get stitches between my big and... uh, not-as-big toe on my left foot. I was riding an exercise bike at Aunt Lorraine's Passover in La Porte, IN. It was a bleeder. Anyhow I bring this up b/c injuries w/ such low visibility just don't evoke that sweet sweet pity you're angling for.

What you need to do is get yourself a shiner -- then when people ask about it, answer excessively about how you tripped on an errant roller skate and landed face first on a doorknob. Then smile uncomfortably and change the subject.

Too much?