Monday, December 3, 2012

Florence Nightingale: Third Time's A Charm

If you've been with me for any length of time - or if you know me personally, may know that I am friendly, compassionate, empathetic, and all those other good things that give you warm feelings inside. Well, at least while I'm out in public.

You may also know that, in spite of my wonderful qualities - including humility - I am simply not a good person to have around in any kind of emergency situation. 

I tend to think I'm tough. I grew up in the Upper Peninsula, survived harsh winters, worked on the farm, learned to drink some pretty hard-core koolaid, (remember the 190 post). I was a preschool teacher for 9 years. I did missionary work in the Philippines and ate some pretty unusual things. I used to work in the school office. I can handle blood. I can handle sneezes and pee. I can even tolerate vomit.

My daughter recently had a minor procedure done on her face. She had to get a small lump removed from her cheek. She was very nervous about the procedure since she wasn't going to have general anesthesia. (Freaking out is a little more like it, but I'll try not to embarrass her too much.) I decided that I wanted to watch the procedure because I knew it wouldn't be too invasive. If I can look at surgeries online and check out skin diseases on WebMD, I was sure I could handle such a minor procedure.

In fact, blood, in and of itself does NOT bother me. Some situations, however, take me completely by surprise. But, I figured that I would be prepared for the small incision on Hope's face. A little blood, a little lump removed, a few stitches. No biggie.

The day arrived and I went into the exam room with my daughter. Doc was positioned on one side of her, so I went to the other side and held her hand. Numbing shot, ketchup and mustard wash (my husband's name for the iodine bath before surgery), scalpel.

Um, OK, so I decided that maybe I wouldn't watch. I figured I should just keep my attention on Hope. I knelt down next to her so I couldn't accidentally sneak a peek.
First, the incision: scalpel. Gauze. Blood. Doing OK.

Hope had gotten past the first part – I figured the rest would be easy as pie.
Then she said, “I just heard a popping sound.”

“Yeah,” the doctor said, “I have to pull it out because it's kind of stuck in there. You'll probably hear a little more popping before I'm done.” Then he went on to describe the texture of the offending cyst – according to him, it was like cheese.

I started to feel a little hot.

He continued, describing how he was trying to squeeze the thing out like a giant zit.

I started to feel a little queasy. A little shaky.  I put my head down on my arm and prayed, “Oh, God, please don't let me pass out.”  I didn't think it would help Hope's nerves at all to have mom swooning.

At this point, Doc started chuckling and said, “Hey, your mom is doing really well.” Hope had her eyes closed, so I don't think she knew anything of the drama unfolding beside her.

I desperately tried to think of a way to change the subject. “Hey, Hope, we might get a kitten for Christmas.” At that point, Doc picked up on my attempt to keep my lunch down and started talking about when we were in college. 

You see, Doc and I went to college together. He was my husband's room-mate one year. He and many other friends actually visited my parents' home in the UP more than once. He really, really likes to talk. And I really, really like to talk. I'm sure he assumed that I was tougher than I really was when he started talking in great detail about removing the chunk of "cheese" wedged in my daughter's face.

Read about my previous episodes in these two posts:

I'm finally convinced that I'm not as tough as I think.

1 comment:

  1. So, I gather your kids have yet to treat you to the 'giant-zit-popping' clips on YouTube. . .



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