Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Clean Bill of Health

Warning: I'm including some gross pictures in this post.  If you don't want to see gross things, don't look at the pictures, or skip this post.  You have been warned.  If you like weird medical stuff, enjoy! 

So when Drs Eva and Bill came to visit before the holiday, we were sitting around one night talking doctor stuff, and so I showed them my weird thumb.  It's always (last 5 years or so) had this dark line down the middle of it and I think it has gotten darker over time (although hard to tell).  I've asked doctors about it in the past, and no one seemed to be that interested in it.

When I showed Eva and Bill, they paused before saying anything (which made me nervous) and they suggested I get it checked out by a dermatologist.  I made an appointment for after the holidays (like two weeks away) and promptly began to freak out.

The following day (Tuesday), after googling terrifying things about dark lines down nails, I called the doctors office again to see if they could notify me if there were any cancellations before I left town.  Sure enough, there was an opening that afternoon, so I took it.

When I saw the dermatologist, she was kind of quick with me, which I didn't like since I was freaking out.  She took a look at the line and said we should schedule a biopsy to have it looked at.  I cried a little, since that's what I do, and asked her if they were going to cut off my thumb or if I was going to die (thanks google).  She said she didn't think either of those things were likely but that we should check it out.  She also made a special call to the front desk to schedule the biopsy for Thursday and not any later- this contributed to further freaking out on my part.

I was oddly a little bit calmer after seeing the doctor because I felt like someone else was in charge now.  Eva and Bill were great and talked me through what the procedure would be like.  It still sounded awful, but they confirmed that I probably wouldn't lose my thumb, and certainly no one was going to replace my thumb with my big toe (thanks again google).

When I went in for the biopsy, I was a hot mess.  A little background about me: I pass out when I get shots.  I panic the night before thinking about having to get shots.  I turn away when they use needles or other gross things on Grey's Anatomy.  I don't do well with this kind of thing.

I checked in at the front desk and the lady looked at my drivers license.  Since my license has the same picture I took when I was 16, the lady made some comment about it not looking like me.  And then she said, "Well I guess no one really wants to be you today." Thank you, for that.

I kept it together in the waiting room (barely), despite my appointment being half an hour late.  When the nurse got me in the back, the tears began.  It's weird, because I can sit there and talk and apologize for being a mess, and not move and let them do the whole procedure, but I'm bawling my eyes out the whole time.  I'm a wuss, I know, but it was kind of scary!

The nurse and the nurse practitioner who did the procedure were great.  The nurse held my hand while the NP put 4(!) shots into my poor little thumb.  Once my thumb was numb, the NP basically cut a circle out with a cookie cutter (or so he told me- I was NOT watching).  Half the circle was in my cuticle, and the other half was up into the nail. Gross.  They bandaged me up and sent me home.

Since I hadn't looked at it, I was really nervous about changing the bandage the next day.  I laid down to do it because I was fairly convinced I was going to pass out.  It was way deeper than I expected- like a mini canyon in my thumb.  Are you grossed out yet?

It took two weeks to get the results back, but the tissue was normal, so I don't have cancer!  The NP may have emailed me to tell me my toe was okay... but I later confirmed with him that my thumb is good too, so I'm pretty happy.  The weird thing is, now I have a hole in my nail.  It's so weird and fascinating!

Do you see how the nail is growing in below the hole?  And my cuticle is pretty much all better!

Anyway, I feel very lucky that I'm healthy and if I have learned anything from this, it is that google is not your friend in these situations.  Don't google- it's not worth making yourself crazy! 


  1. TMP (too much picture) made me gag just a little and I saw it in person. Glad your okay, love ya, dad

  2. Glad you're healthy! Does it still hurt? It was really interesting to watch my toenail regrow after I ripped off half of it this summer(I had two toenails on top of each other at one point!), and I'm sure you'll thumb will go through a fascinating evolution too.