Cartoon and Illustration

Fun with flesh removal (or “Ex-er-Cising”)

Warning:  This Blog contains a lot of stuff about surgery (no pictures though) and so if you’re squeamish at all you may want to skip it.

So I’m thinking that today I’m more or less worthless in the studio.  Maybe not, but I did spend the morning at a surgeon’s office getting an “excision”.  This is surgeon talk for cutting a hunk out of my leg.  It would be no big deal I’m sure if it was someone else’s leg–but this is my leg.  And I know I’m being a big, huge, baby.

But still, it’s been an interesting couple of days.

Yesterday it was a trip to my dentist to get a temporary crown after I broke a molar a couple of weeks ago (just before the funeral of the mother of a life-long friend).  I don’t have problems with dentists like many people do–my dentist is great!  Plus I can’t actually see what they’re doing, so no biggie.

However, when it comes to surgeons I’d rather not be involved.  Not that my surgeon is any less nice than my dentist–I just see the dentist more often (and hope to keep things that way).

Anyway, she (Dr. Johnson, the surgeon, is a lady) decided a week or so ago that this wound I got back in August was not healing properly and that she needed to excise it and sew it up.  Today was the day.

My wife, Karin, offered to go along and I’m glad that she did (in spite of the loss of pay when she had to cancel her morning classes).  I think I’ve got a fairly high pain threshold, but I’m more than a little squeamish when it comes to blood–particularly my own.  So it was good to have her there to hold my hand during the procedure.  (Another good doctor word, “procedure”, helps make it sound less intense).

The worst part (as promised by Dr. Johnson) truly was the needle they used to numb my leg.  Not used to needles in my calf, and the numbing agent had a kind of burning, stinging sensation.  Not unlike being stung by a hornet, except that then my leg got numb rather than throbbing.

Of course, the numbing hasn’t worn off completely yet either.  I came straight home and took some tylenol to head off the predicted “throbbing sensation” Dr. Johnson warned me about.

I didn’t look.  It’s that squeamish thing I mentioned.  I took my glasses off just in case I was tempted to look–at least then it would be fuzzy.  Then I put my hand across my face to remind me that I didn’t want to look–no matter what I felt.  It worked.  I didn’t look up until they were putting the gauze wrapping on my leg.  I don’t intend to look until tomorrow morning when I take the dressing off.

Karin, on the other hand, did look.  She’s had nurse’s training and has got to witness all sorts of stuff, operations, births, me whining when I get a boo-boo…

She gave me a run down on the trip home:  “Your skin is really thick!  It’s like where they’ve dug up the asphalt on that road repair!  The doctor sewed you up like a ripped pair of pants!  One set of sutures on the inside and then one on the outside!”  You know, reassuring stuff like that.

Reassuring in the sense that it reassures me that not looking was a great idea.

Now it’s done.  Assuming the biopsy comes back okay I hope never to have to go through anything like this again.  Lord willing, I won’t.

Still, I’m not at all in much shape to be doing any fine artwork today.  I tensed up considerably while laying on the table, so now almost all my muscles are sore.  There was also a considerable adrenal rush when they started poking things into me and having come down from it somewhat now I’m actually surprised I’m not shaking all over.

Again, thankfully, I’m not.  But I’m still a bit off my game.

So today is about self promotion, posing things, pondering my next moves–maybe I’ll get the pencil out after a while, but I’ll have to see.  Drawing does tend to take my mind off other things, so it may be an important thing to keep in mind.



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