Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let's Cyst Again

I have detailed a few of my more interesting ailments here. In some ways I feel like this blog is starting to read like a medical history. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. This is true. But I have had quite a lot of medical dealies that weren't the result of my own paranoia. When I broke my hand, I remember denying for hours that it was broken on the basis that I didn't want to have broken a bone in such a phenomenally stupid manner. As you probably know, I would go on to much bigger and stupider injuries. My medical woes aren't always the result of me being an idiot though. I was thinking about this the other day, and it reminded me that I haven't yet mentioned that time I had a bit of the old plastic surgeries.

Yes, you heard it hear first folks: Smackie Onassis had plastic surgery. When I start off telling this story, even when I preface it by explaining that plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are not the same thing, everyone has the same reaction:

"Boobs, right? I knew it."

No, I did not have breast augmentation. Look through my school photos if you don't believe me. I was already being catcalled by boys in my class when I was 12 years old, something I found more than a little strange and frightening. I have back problems as it is, I can't imagine anything I would want less than big old fake breasts.

The surgery I had was not cosmetic. There was a cyst growing in an unfortunate spot on my forehead and even though it posed no real threats to my health, it was getting bigger and it was a pain in the arse. Also it was in the middle of my damn forehead and all my friends kept trying to squeeze it. So, I was booked in for minor surgery.

It was just a local anaesthetic. I could understand that - general anaesthetics are much riskier. Unfortunately it meant I was wide awake while a surgeon cut open my head. I'm not going to lie to you, it was pretty awful. The worst thing is, it grew back. I was booked in for a second operation.

About halfway through the second procedure, I felt the surgeon stop what he was doing. It was then that I heard the single last thing you ever want to hear when a medical professional has a scalpel sticking into your head.


Something had surprised him.

"So that's why it grew back," he continued, muttering to himself. And yes, even though this was many years ago I can remember exactly what he said. It's not the kind of thing you forget.

"Hey! Awake down here! What's going on?" I would have spoken up if I could manage to get my vocal chords working. I didn't actually say anything, but I guess the doctor remembered where he was and decided that I would probably want to know what had happened.

"Don't worry," he said, "There was a little nest of them in there. I'll be able to get them all out."

Admittedly he was talking about sebaceous cysts and not horrifying spiders, but that's kinda the image that is conjured up by that particular turn of phrase.

The rest of the surgery went off without a hitch and I got to walk around for a bit with my head bandaged up like an old-school slapstick actor. My only disappointment was that he had been such a good surgeon that my scar was barely visible. You may think that's a good thing, but keep in mind that the tiny excuse for a scar that I do have is at the top right of my forehead, just below my hairline. If he hadn't done such a neat job, I would have the exact same scar as Harry friggin Potter. I can even remember my little sister telling me I should ask him to cut it in the shape of a lightening bolt, but I wasn't game to make jokes during a surgical procedure. 

There is still a scar there, it's just not one you'd see unless it was pointed out. I guess that's kind of ideal, really. Facial scars aren't really viewed as the pillar of feminine attractiveness. Still. Harry Potter.

-Smackie Onassis

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