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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Ears to you!
I went in to have a small spot removed from the back of my ear that I had detected due to my keen sense of touch and inability to stop picking at little sores, even if they are located on my ears, in places I can't even spot.
What I thought was going to be a fairly simple procedure - a little "slice and dice" and back on the road, turned out to be a three-hour horror show, where the good doctor had to operate not once, but twice, which is never a good sign. I was left on my own between and after the sessions with a television remote and the cute little high-definition flatscreen on the wall, to which I assigned the endless loop of Sportscenter. I could have chosen to fret over the fate of my ear, but instead I nodded off. Even after having a sports drink, which caused my blood pressure to spike, just before I came in. I am nothing, if not opportunistic, when it comes to my cat-naps.
The cute little nurse who came in to "prep" me for the procedure (which sounds much sexier than it is) poked a couple of little syringes into the top of my ear and asked me if I felt anything. "Nah," I said. "Go ahead and bring in the hedgetrimmers for all I care..." She chuckled in a light-hearted manner, which gave me hope that this procedure was not going to be so bad after all... She told the doctor we were ready and he swooped in like Bela Lugosi and began tugging on my ear. In no time, it was over, the little nurse had applied the hand-held torch to cauterize the wound, and I was bandaged up and left to sit on my own while my flesh was sent to the lab to see if all the worrisome cells had been safely removed.
Nearly an hour later and a half-dozen viewings of Kobe Bryant having his nose broken in a fluke basketball All-Star game mishap, or deliberate swipe at one of the preeminent players in the league, depending on your point of view, the good-natured nurse came back in and swept another syringe from the counter and informed me that they were going to have to take another pass at the ear. Bad news.
She went to work with the needle again and I flinched, feeling the pinch of the needle. "Still want me to bring in the hedge-clippers?" she asked. I chuckled nervously. She called the doctor back in and he went back to work - all I could feel was the tugging at my ear, and soon enough he plopped a lump of flesh the size of the last knuckle on my little finger onto the table. "You go all the way through?" I asked, lightheartedly. "Yes," he replied evenly, as if I had asked if the bisque was fresh. "Really?..."
The doctor left and the not-so-cute nurse took a photo of the ear from the front and back and I asked if I could see. The front looked like the hole that would be made from one of the gauges of which my daughter Logan is so fond - only at the top. The back looked like a butchered animal. I preferred the front-view. "We could have a piece of stained glass embedded in there," I suggested. "Or an emerald, or ruby, or some other precious stone..." The nurse laughed - I was learning that her laugh was usually two steps ahead of my thoughts, like a witch - a witch with numbing syringes and a cauterizing torch. "That's creative," she said. "I've never heard that one before - stained glass..."
The second cut came back clean and the doctor re-entered and sewed me up, closing up the blow-hole where I would have had the emerald mounted, much to my disappointment. It was there, I figured - why not use it in a creative manner. They then sent me away with my ear heavily bandaged (I am not allowed to touch it and must go back in a few days to have the bandage changed) and swathed in a headwrap that looks like it was fashioned from Salma Hayeck's old fishnet stockings.
Instead of being festooned with gemstones, I will be left with an ear that appears as if it has been chewed on in a 1950's wrestling match with Haystack Calhoun. I will, of course, spin the tale so that I was the unfortunate victim of an ear-biting Hooters girl when I was attempting to break up a fight over two or three of the vixens, who were fighting over my affections. Until then, I will wear my lunch-lady/ear-pirate headwear with pride. I am clean again, for now.