Thursday, December 1, 2011

I've Been Punched

Image found here. It doesn't look like this on ME. 

I mentioned awhile back that some weirdo thingies have appeared on the skin of my back. I presented them to Dr. Young Guy, who ordered a biopsy, thinking that they may be some kind of cutaneous lupus manifestation.

So I had my biopsy on Monday, which was extremely weird.

My dermatologist numbed the area and then took out this punch device which basically took a tiny little plug out of my skin. Ever had your lawn aerated? And the machine leaves all these cylinder-shaped plugs of lawn scattered all over?

I felt like a chunk of an aerated lawn.

I grabbed the biopsy container and gave it a good looking-over before the assistant whisked it away. It was a bigger plug than I had been thinking. One that required a few stitches to close up.

I have been seeing this dermatologist for awhile. She knows that I'm a nurse and so communicates with me in those terms, which for the most part, I like. So she said, "The biopsy will come back in a few days, but I'm pretty sure that you know that this is some kind of lupus rash, right?"


"So you know what that all means? Puts things in a different perspective, autoimmune-wise?"


"And, in spite of that, there's not much difference in the treatment between lupus and Sjogren's? And your rheumatologist will manage this?"


"OK. I'll give you some cortisone cream, but you know that these things will keep on popping up here and there, right?"


"Oh, and in two weeks your husband can take those few stitches out, right? Just a little snip and a tug and they're gone. The assistant will give you a paper with all the instructions."


With that, she was out the door, leaving me to mull things over.

I wonder how the conversation would have went had I been a patient with no medical training? I would hope that she would have pulled up a chair and talked things over with me. I suppose I can't have it both ways, I guess. I want my physicians to know and respect the person that I am without talking baby talk in overly simplistic terms to me.  But still.....a little hand-holding every now and then would be nice. Yes, this is just another one of those autoimmune things to add to my collection, but dang. IT'S ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE AUTOIMMUNE THINGS TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION! Zoiks.

So. While I'm waiting for the biopsy results, I'm having that very unique experience of not wearing a bra. The biopsy site is exactly under where my bra strap should be, which would irritate the stitches, so I'm wearing a camisole similar to the one pictured above.

I haven't been bra-less since the '70s, and yikes. These girls are NOT meant to run free......Terese and I went to a movie yesterday and even though I wore a leather jacket to mask things, it felt so odd to jiggle my way across the parking lot to the theater.

What? TMI? Too much information?



annie said...

Darn it,Julia, you're making me laugh when this is a serious topic ! What happens next? Does the doctor treat topically and/or orally with other meds? Does the rash burn your skin? I hope everything turns out well, but this is something else you have to cope with.

Laura said...

Nothing like Yet Another Diagnosis to make a day bite...unless it's one that involves stitches!

I've had a punch biopsy done, but the little tiny ones that don't need stitches (the mole wasn't that big). I've also had a larger, non-punch one that did require stitches. I can't say either was fun.

On the plus side, in my case both were likely to come back negative, and did (which is good, 'cause in my case it was melanoma they were testing for). The larger one with stitches was under my bra's shoulder strap - oh GAH - but under the back strap isn't much better.

I love that you can keep a sense of humor through this.

Anita Rowe Stafford said...

Julia, you are priceless! Nurses need hugs too, I'm sending one your way.

stephanie said...

This stuff all blows. I know, I know. It could be a lot worse, right? Still blows.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for you Julia, you don't need another thing. I jope the biopsy will be OK.

anetto said...

Funny you say that. I have a stitch in my scalp now from a punch biopsy. I can't see it though

Your post did make me laugh. I hope that they heal up fine and go into hibernation. It could happen