July 28th 2016
Today I had minor surgery to “remove a small lesion on the right side of the nose”. Or, at least, that’s what the notes on my admittance papers said. Basically, I had this nasty infection thing and a doctor sliced it off. For the doctor to be able to do that I had to have a local anaesthetic, and subsequently learnt that a local anaesthetic is administered by needle, not by a cream – as I’d previously thought.
So, the doctor laid me down on the table/bed, shone a light on my face, whipped out a big-ass needle and asked me to close my eyes.
I’ll admit that I tensed up when the needle first pierced the skin on my nose, my eyes watered and the nurse said “We know you’re not crying, don’t worry”. It was a weird feeling, but not as weird as what came next. The second time I felt his fingers on my face I opened my eyes. Below my right eye I could see a four inch needle coming out of my nose, but I couldn’t feel a thing. Very surreal.
Soon enough he was hacking away at the infection with a device that looked like an electric toothbrush with a circular blade/saw on the end of it.
Again, I could see it, but couldn’t feel a thing. I could only feel the blood when it dripped over my jaw and onto my neck. Immediately I regretted wearing a pale jumper.
After the saw came the fire – or, at least, that’s what I though it was. You know that desert that you cook by basting it with a blow torch? Creme Brulee is it? Well the instrument he used to close up the wound felt like that blow torch, which made me the Creme Brulee.
A hot, tingly pain that was, I’m told, to burn off the nerve endings and stop the bleeding. Excellent stuff.
After my ‘surgery’ (I’ll admit that I’ve stretched that word a bit in the heading of this post) the Nurse placed her hand on my shoulder and reassured me that I was going to be okay. I felt that this was a bit unnecessary, and kind of made me feel like I was in paediatrics, not dermatology. However, it was appreciated. It’s always nice to be reminded that you’re still alive.
I think my weird reaction to the doctors utensils (for lack of a better word) was probably just because I was high from the anaesthetic (if that’s even how that works) so the Nurse had to check on me to make sure I was still a functioning human being. She asked me what my date of birth was just to make sure I hadn’t completely lost my mind.
I answered her question correctly and was free to go. In the moment I thought “well how would she know that I hadn’t just answered with the first date that came to my mind? She doesn’t know when my birthday is.” but it now occurs to me that of course she knew. By the information on their database and their documents they probably know more about me than I do.
Scary really, but you can’t knock it. People moan about the NHS, and I just don’t get how. Yeah, my appointment was delayed 30 minutes, but who the fuck cares? It was free, and safe, and clean. And people forget how blessed we are to have a fully functioning and completely free healthcare system. I was in and out within two hours and they didn’t even get a single drop of blood on my jumper.
Until tomorrow, long live the NHS.