Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hell hath no fury...

like a hair follicle scorned.

So it's been a week or so since I updated either one of my blogs and I figured I'd give you all the story of why. As a word of warning, this is probably not a tale for the squeamish.

It was a dark and stormy night...no wait...it was a pleasant afternoon last Wednesday when I first became aware of a small lump growing on the inside of my thigh. I didn't find this particularity unnerving as I usually get one or two smallish boils growing in that area around he same time of year. By Friday afternoon it had swollen to the size of a golf ball and the wife was demanding that I go see a doctor. I assured her that it was nothing to worry about and that I'd be fine (I'm quite stubborn when it comes to seeing doctors). So that turned out to be a mistake as by Saturday afternoon it was closer to the size of a baseball, the wife says softball, but she played hockey so what the fuck does she know about it. So at that point even stubborn old me decided that seeing a doctor wasn't the worst idea.

We headed over to our friendly neighbourhood no appointment necessary medical centre and I was pleasantly pleased to only wait 5 minutes to see a doctor (I sit at least 3 times that long in my dentists waiting room when I do have an appointment). He poked my lump with his finger a couple of times, wrote me a 'script for some antibiotics and told me to go see a doctor again on Monday if it hadn't shrunk.

Fast forward to Monday. It hadn't gotten any better. In fact it was now a rather off putting purple colour, all the skin around it was dying and every step I took felt like someone was jabbing a knife into my leg (or so I thought at the time). So off to the emergency room I drag myself, sit around the waiting room for an hour and a half (a rather quick wait in the emergency room by Saskatchewan standards) and am then put into a room. Well it wasn't so much a room as it was a large closet, with 4 beds in it, separated by curtains. The fellow one bed over was having his flesh ripped from his body by a rabid wolverine, at least that's what his screams made it sound like. After a few minutes a nurse came in to take a set of vitals. She did my blood pressure 3 times before deciding that the original one was in fact accurate and that my blood pressure was high. She told me that peoples blood pressure is usually somewhat elevated just by the experience of being in the ER. I retorted that it was more likely due to the fact that I'm at least 60 pounds overweight and live on a diet of crap. She conceded that that could also be a part of the problem.

About 10 minutes passed before the doctor came in (at this point I was dressed in one of those jaunty little hospital gowns, even their largest size fit me like a minidress). He poked my lump a couple of times, told me that it likely wouldn't get any better on it's own and that he should probably surgically drain it. Great. He also noted that I had the high blood pressure, was sweating profusely at this point and asked if I was diabetic. I told him I didn't believe so but that I hadn't been tested either. He sent in a nurse to run a test on me and thankfully it turns out I'm not diabetic. I have little doubt that I will be one day as it runs on both sides of my family, but I wasn't looking forward to starting daily insulin shots before my 30th birthday. So with that out of the way they sent me off down the hall to a larger room with better light (still wearing my lovely puke green minidress with the back flapping in the wind). The nurse came in to set up the room with the various items the doctor would need and also told me I'd need to remove my underwear. Excellent, nothing I enjoy more than having some dude operating on my leg with my nether parts flapping in the wind.

So the doctor walks in followed by an intern (and of course it has to be a cute female intern). At this point I'm really beginning to wish that I had opted for the whole being knocked unconscious thing, but silly me told him to just do it with a local so that we didn't have to wait for an operating room and anesthesiologist to be available. So then the doctor gets a phone call and steps out of the room to take it, leaving me and the intern to make small talk. Yep nothing like trying to make small talk with someone you've just met while laying in bed naked from the waist down with a great big lump hanging off your leg. I expect that Miss Manners doesn't cover this scenario in any of her books.

Here come the gory details. You've been warned twice now so it ain't my fault if you read on and get disgusted (if you weren't already disgusted enough at the mental image of me laying in a hospital bed naked).

So the procedure to get rid of this stupid thing isn't fancy in any way. The doctor injected the area with a local anesthetic (which really only dulls the pain, doesn't eliminate it), draws out a syringe full of the fluid and then makes an incision into the lump. At that point blood and pus start spilling out of it. Then he inserts the scalpel into the lump and jabs around a little bit to break up any harder bits (oh, that's what being stabbed in the leg really feels like, and even with the local it is extremely unpleasant). He then flushes out the now empty cavity with a sterile liquid until all the bad stuff is out of there. Next up he packs the cavity with some sort of sterile packing material leaving the end sticking out of the incision. So for the next week or so I get to pull an inch or so of the packing material out of my own leg each day, snip it off, and change the dressing.

Anyone still reading this?

Upon discussion with the doctor, the absence of any cut or scratch in the area means that the most likely cause of the infection was an ingrown hair. So remember kiddies the lesson learned here is to get rid of those ingrown hairs long before someone is cutting into your leg with a scalpel.


Holly Laird said...

I just puked a little... Sounds like you had a lot of fun at the good 'ol emerg. Ahhh the memories. You think your experience was bad-wait 'til they wanna poke at something internal. I swear that everytime I leave the hospital I lose a little more of my dignity. Good luck with yer..uh...upper thigh.

Jason Doan said...

Sweet another reader! I think I'm up to 5 regulars now, and after only 80 posts. At this rate I'll be as big as Wil Wheaton in 1572 years.

sludge said...

I had one on my nuts a while ago. It didn't need to be surgically removed, but it was pretty painful. Very messy when it popped.

Jason Doan said...


Gwenhwyfar said...

Awesome, I stayed home sick from work and you still managed to make me feel worse.
Thanks dude. That was disgusting.

Jason Doan said...

I do what I can :P

Sean said...

I figured that maybe Laura kicked you in the shin - expanding on her elbow jab in the ribs repetoire. Didn't hear about the surgery part. Glad to hear you are on the

Jason Doan said...

pfffft...she already has the shin kick move in her repetoire. The last time she used it I bled.