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.