Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Things What Come From My Body!

Being, as I am, a lower middle class American, I tend to avoid medical care unless and until it's absolutely necessary. This kept me from seeking any kind of help with the large bump that started in the back left of my head sometime in the mid-90s and grew larger steadily until it was about the size of...oh, I don't know, but something bigger than should be growing out of a fella's head. This thing was clearly not supposed to be there, and I was worried about it, but I just couldn't afford/justify going to a doctor about it until it a) hurt or b) seemed to be causing a problem. It had never done either of these (save for a dull ache if I laughed too hard), so I kept the Bump there.
Of course, it wasn't really noticeable for years, until I shaved my head. That was maybe 7/8 years ago, and the Bump continued to grow since then, becoming more apparent now that it was out in the open. Still, the above reasons still applied, so there it stayed.
My wife and I, however, moved to Sweden nearly a year ago. For those who don't know about the way this country works, it's basically set up with a government that's meant to take care of the populace. This will sound pretty strange to Americans, I know, who have become accustomed to being at the bottom of the long list of governmental concerns (well after war, oil, major industry, etc.). We were, and are, the same way. Though our life in America seems a distant dream already, we still find it hard to understand a government that cares if we live or die...and not just for statistics.
Anyway, part of being a citizen in Sweden is that you pay HUGE taxes (about 30%). This would (and does) stun most Americans, who fail to understand that when you pay taxes, the money is supposed to go into the betterment of the State and the people (as opposed to spending more on an already-overwhelming 'defense' structure). Here, for example, that money partly goes to VERY inexpensive health care. When we were all set up to be recipients of said health care, we decided it was time to excise the Bump.
Through a brief series of doctor visits, I learned it was a cyst of some sort. It was caused the clogging of pores (so keep your skin clean, kids) and then the buildup of the secretions that would normally, um, secrete out of the skin. It was a minor operation, during which I was anaesthetised in the back o' my head, and the doc sliced open my scalp. After some scraping -- which resounded through my skull but caused only a slight mental discomfort rather than any actual pain -- the good doctor sewed me up and was through.
When the whole thing was finished, I sat up and asked if I could see the removed Bump. I mean, I'd lived with the thing for so long, but never really gotten a good look at it even while it was in my scalp. He surprised me by picking it up and essentially saying, 'Here you go!' as he handed the gory little mess to me! I wasn't grossed out or anything, just shocked: an American doctor would not be very likely to just hand you a piece of yourself and wish you both good tidings as you walked out the door. This fellow, though, was perfectly content to hand me this odd little piece of meat to carry home in my hand.
I kind of wanted to keep it, to be honest, if for nothing more than to show my wife what had been nestled against my skull for so many years. So, I got a little plastic cup (nothing elaborate like a specimen container or anything, just the plastic version of a Dixie cup) to take home my little friend.
Of course, once I got home with it and had shown it to my wife (who was pretty disgusted by it, as well as by the doctor's method of delivery), I didn't know what to do with it. I wanted to be able to have it around...but I didn't really want to physically keep it, and didn't really know how even if I wanted to. So, I did the next best thing in such situations and photographed it:

I would truly love to say that this was the last thing that I'd left in my body that shouldn't have been there to begin with, but sadly that is not the case...


Blogger Matt Johnsen said...

That's a grizzly bit of meat, and a harrowing story. Now, tell us about the glass in your knee!

4:09 PM  
Blogger aliceboy said...

It was in my hand...and it's coming, complete with slightly less gory pic!

4:19 PM  
Blogger SaraS-P said...

Somehow, I didn't expect it to look quite so much like bacon fat. IF you had a dog or a cat, you would have to watch them when you threw it away. Ew.

5:31 PM  
Blogger aliceboy said...

Funny girl! I was tempted -- just for a second -- to fry it up and eat it, but cooler head prevailed.

5:41 PM  

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