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Hitching a ride to (thumb) biopsy town #SOL24

March 5, 2024

I had an (unplanned) biopsy on a wart on my thumb yesterday, and let me tell you, the past 24 hours have been a struggle.

First, some background: I randomly got three small warts on my hands last year for reasons still unknown to me. A quick check with Dr. Google tells me I must have touched something (because it definitely wasn’t a someone) that had come in contact with the virus, probably after biting my nails which I do quite a bit of. When I saw my doctor last year, he told me to treat them with the OTC stuff and if any persisted to follow up. So I had two that went away, but then this one on my thumb has been hanging around. I actually called the dermatologist to make an appointment for acne (a post for a different time) but when I called, the scheduler said, “Oh to look at your wart?” and I was like “Sure” because I needed to get that done anyway.

When I got to the dermatologist yesterday, the nurse told me the doc would only be able to see me for one thing (the wart) since we had limited time for the consult and that’s what was on the referral. When the doctor came in, she told me to schedule the acne discussion for another day since those visits usually take a lot longer. As it was, she took a quick look at the wart, then pulled out some kind of magnifying thing, looked at it closer and then said she wanted to biopsy it because “they don’t usually look like that.” She explained the procedure, saying it was going to ruin my day for about fifteen seconds because of the lidocaine shot, which would burn at the beginning but then I wouldn’t feel anything–like when you go to the dentist, basically. The reason it would hurt so much, she said, is that there are a ton of nerve endings in our hands and feet, so that’s why stepping on or smashing your hand on a LEGO hurts so much.

So anyway, she was right. It hurt like a sumbitch, but then I felt nothing as she took the biopsy and then gave me two stitches. It is a weird thing to sit there and know someone is cutting your skin and then stitching it up (and see it!) and not feel anything. We’ve been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy, and I cannot imagine how freaky it is to have brain surgery while fully awake. I mean, it’s weird enough hearing the drill when the dentist fixes a cavity, and I know how much it freaked me out when I got my implant and the dentist basically jackhammered my skull (er, that’s what it sounded like) even after the dental assistant explained it to me (another blog post for another day), so yeah, brain surgery has to be rough.

 

But I digress.

The nurse told me should have to dress my thumb and it would look like the hitchhiking thumb from old cartoons, which, yes, I told her, I knew exactly what that meant. And she wasn’t wrong. My thumb is all wrapped in gauze and sticks straight up like I am, indeed, hitchhiking.

She also told me to take it easy so I wouldn’t pop my stitches, but. Do you know how hard it is to take it easy when the thumb on your dominant hand is out of commission? Not very! Especially when garbage needs to go out and dishes need to be washed. And when you’re not supposed to get your hand wet. I have been wearing a plastic glove over my hand, and it is beyond annoying.

picture of thumb wrapped in gauze, sticking straight up like a hitchhiker

 

Anyway, I slept horribly because my thumb hurt all night, and I took Tylenol (doctor’s suggestion) instead of ibuprofen like I knew I should have. This would be fine, generally speaking, since I’m still on sabbatical, but we are going to Disney Channel after Dark at Disneyland tonight, so now I’m annoyed. I also had a shitty dream about high school right before I woke up, which didn’t help my mood or the pain. Oh, and I can’t shower until 2 p.m. today since I have to keep the pressure dressing on for 24 hours and can’t get my hand wet. Again, super grateful to be on sabbatical for that one as well but I do not do well when I don’t shower as soon as I wake up.

My mood did shift this morning after I took ibuprofen and the pain has lessened, but I’m also wary of taking more ibuprofen because I’ll be at Disneyland and, even with all the preemptive measures I take, I usually still need to take ibuprofen there at least once before the day is out.

So what I’m saying is (a) the ruining my day lasted more than 15 seconds and (b) this whole unplanned biopsy thing has definitely messed with my plans.

On the plus side, the wart has been removed, and I am once again grateful for having excellent doctors who attend to my care. I just hope the pain in my thumb subsides enough so I can enjoy my time at Disneyland without thinking about it. That should be easier to do once the pressure bandage comes off at 2, and, yes, I already set an alarm in anticipation of that joyous event.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Linda

    Glad the procedure was simple. I like the details you included in this post, including the “digressions”. They helped me get a sense of what you were going through. I love that you set an alarm to take that bandage off, but I bet you didn’t need it!

    Reply
  2. Stephanie Paterson

    Shoot. Sorry you had to go through this–biopsy, needle, suturing, waiting. I hope you get good news and the ibuprofin keeps up with the pain.

    Reply
  3. Leigh Anne Eck

    Oh, I have several skin lesions removed, and they are no fun. But never on my thumb. That had to have been annoyingly inconvenient! Especially with the Disney trip! I hope the biopsy comes back ok!

    Reply
  4. Stacie

    I’m glad your wart was taken care of. I kind of love the casual “they don’t usually look like that,” which, for me, would take the stress out of “you need a biopsy.” As a former hitchhiker, I would have been very sad to have my thumb out of commission for any length of time. I hope you have fun at Disney with no thumb distraction!

    Reply

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