Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'm thinking of buying a scalpel on eBay. I've been looking around the web for do-it-yourself medical equipment, and I think eBay is the place for scalpels. (I have found some other interesting sites , but eBay seems to be the place for scalpels.
Here's why I need one:

Not very many people know this, but I'm an amateur surgeon. Ingrown toenails? No problem. Warts? Piece of cake. I can handle most anything.

Wait, it gets better.

I have lipomas. A lipoma is a small benign tumor composed of fatty tissue. I first noticed them in my forearms when I was a teen. The doctor removed them with a simple enough procedure. He made a small incision, removed the tumor, snipped it free of any connective tissue, and sutured the skin closed. Done.

The problem was, the tumors grew back. I also found more of them.

Fast-forward ten years. I was working for Vespa Utah, a company gracious enough to provide its employees with absolutely no insurance coverage whatsoever. One of my lipomas had gotten pretty large, about the size of a big grape. It was positioned on my arm so that whenever I sat to eat, it rested on the edge of the table. Though not painful, it was a nuisance I desperately wanted to be rid of.

One day, shortly after quitting my wonderful job, I found myself home alone. I was feeling a peculiar combination of depressed and adventurous, so I found a razor blade and set to work.

I shaved the area, cleaned it with alcohol, made an incision, and pulled out the tumor. I placed the tumor on a clean washcloth, then I soaked some q-tips in alcohol and cleaned the inside of the wound. Using a needle and thread, I had just finished the first couple of stitches when there came a knock on the door. It was my mother-in-law. She already thought I was crazy, the last thing I needed was for her to see me operating on myself.

I panicked. I folded the washcloth over the tumor, hid the alcohol and razor blade, and stuck the needle and thread, still connected to my arm, up my sleeve.

I don't remember what my mother-in-law wanted, but for some reason she came into the kitchen and in the process picked up the washcloth and wiped her face. The tumor fell onto the floor and I quickly picked it up as if nothing had happened. I don't think she knew what was going on. After she left I finished the sewing.

My wife was pretty impressed when I told her what I had done. She even helped me to remove an even larger lipoma from my thigh. But there was one on my butt about the size of a golf ball that she didn't want me to attempt to remove by myself. And since it was in a difficult position to remove alone, I decided to wait until we got on some insurance. This was a pain to do because the tumor was in my right butt cheek and I keep my wallet in my right back pocket, so every time I sat down I could feel it.

Finally the day arrived. The doctor wanted to put me under for the operation. I insisted he didn't. I knew it was an easy procedure and I didn't see the need. But I still had to go to the hospital for the surgery, and gown up and everything.

Now, a couple of years later, I still have a gnarly purple scar on my butt. You can even see the scars from when the family doctor removed lipomas from my arms when I was a teen. However, there is almost no scarring from the surgeries I did myself. They healed up fine, and so far no tumors have come back on those sites.

The moral of the story is, of course: If you want something done right, do it yourself.

7 comments:

AzĂșcar said...

I'll say!


I can just see your mother in law...hahahah! She would have been shocked, yet extremely polite.

The Scooter Lounge said...

Do you know my mother-in-law?

spitzer said...

wow, augustine burroughs has nothing on you.

AzĂșcar said...

We were in the same ward for years. I was your littlest sister-in-law's young women advisor. I think she just moved about a year ago?

So YEAH, I totally get what you're saying.

socali71 said...

I dont mind operating on my own toes (ingrowns suck). Broke a few toes- taped it up for a few weeks- still hurts. I can handle my own slicing, dicing. . .
(1)thing I CANT deal with- other people's stuff. Total gag on breast reduc./enlgmnts., lypo., face peels, open heart whatever blood bath shows. I watch them like scary movies- one hand over my eyes. This blog was vomit worthy. Will you hold my hair? huuuuuooohhhhaaahh. Tks.

Marty said...

Dude, My sister has those. She of course is not a daredevil like you.

So you won't drive a bike into the pond, but you will operate on yourself??? Huh? If you want a scapel, don't go to ebay, unless that was a joke, just go to UVSC, or BYU, and have a student in biology give you one out of their kit.

Marty

b. said...

Or for pete's sake, have your wife bring you one home.....I'll totally cover for her.
I was in a bad car accident many years ago. One of the mile marker posts on I-15 near University Ave exit nearly went through my ankle. One of the Dr.'s (also my co-workers) sewed it up, but none of them would admit to doing it. At the time I thought that was strange. Over the years whenever someone/something would rub up against my ankle it would KILL!!! Since I could feel something fairly close to the surface, I dug around and pulled out a big chunk of glass (that was a couple of years after the wreck). It's been 16 years since the accident and over the years I have pulled out 7 pieces of glass out of my ankle!Kinda gross, but kinda cool!