Sdtrk: ‘Head’ by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Ahhh, Monday. The day that I finally had that damnable chalazion scraped off my head. You don’t forget something like that! No matter how hard you try.
I got round to my eye doctor last Monday, at 6pm. The actual appointment was at 6.30, but of course they’re like, ‘fill this stack of papers out that absolves us of all guilt and responsiblilty should we accidentally carve up your eyeball’, so they had me show up early. Having finished those in due course, I was escorted to the operating room proper, where the nurse placed a shower cap-like paper hat on my head, and had me lie on the cushioned cot/counter thing, with my head resting in a cushion to keep it from rotating. She then applied some eye drops, stating that Dr Lim would be in shortly, and made her way to assisting other patients.
Whilst I was lying on that pleather-upholstered cot, attempting to calm myself down by thinking pleasant thoughts, my mind drifted to what someone had once said about a universal truth to doctor visits of any kind. You wait for an interminable period, then they usher you into a smaller room, where you wait by yourself for another interminable period. I was waiting on that cot for a little over half an hour. At one point, I guess my focussing on pleasant thoughts had worked, as I actually fell asleep for a few minutes.
Dr Lim returned with the nurse presently. Dr Lim (her first name escapes me — I think it started with a ‘J’) is a short Asian lass, probably in her early thirties, and with a pleasant demeanour. She began swabbing my eyelid, stating that ‘The part that hurts the most is when we do the injections to numb the area.’ ‘Yeah, I remember that part from the last time I was here to get a chalazion removed,’ I replied. ‘It was really pinchy.’ And with that, we were off!
Now perhaps times have changed since my last chalazion removal — last time, in all honesty, the injection part was not all that bad — but on this go-round, I don’t know what happened, but the procedure wasn’t as smooth as last time. Truth be told, it hurt like a motherfucker. I don’t know if there wasn’t enough lidocaine, or too much, but the thing to remember with lidocaine injections is that they burn. It’s acidic. Factor in that that shit was near my eye, and you have a pretty wild scene, man. Plus, as I was expressing to Dr Lim and the nurse, I wonder if more of my pain was more psychosomatically induced, cos I’ll tell you: you know when you visit the dentist, and they use that pick thing to remove plaque from your teeth? You’re familiar with that sound and that general feeling, yes? Well, Dr Lim didn’t have a pick, but she was doing practically the same thing in removing the core of my chalazion. I could hear that pt pt pt sound as she was extricating it. Yeah. And heh, it’s not as if you can close your eye!
To attempt to get my mind off what they were doing to me, the nurse was like ‘You know, you look like you play an instrument. Do you play anything?’ So I attempted to explain that yes, I used to play guitar and keyboards (but not at the same time) in Dole age and Wreath.VCA as best I could. You know, trying to be my usual humourous and flippant self whilst exacavation was underway on my fucking eye. So in between gripping the nurse’s hand like grim death, I also told them about the Dears concert from that previous Sunday. That went well.
Eventually, Dr Lim couldn’t get all of it out via the inner eyelid. I neglected to mention that all surgery up til this point was performed on the inside of my eyelid, so as not to leave a scar, so they applied a lidclamp and flipped that bad boy open, which also hurt like a sonofabitch. But like I’d said, she couldn’t remove it all through the inside, so she announced that she was going to have to make an incision on the outside and get the rest out. I didn’t feel the scalpel incision at all, but the cauterising that she had to do on both sides of my lid was not pleasant, I’ll tell you. Ye gods. If I ever, ever, develop another chalazion ever again in my life, when I get it removed, my first words upon seeing the doctor will be ‘Fill me with Valium tabs until I no longer remember proper English.’
Everything could’ve been worse, however. The nurse was telling me that on Monday, she and Dr Lim would have to treat a bloke who had four rather large chalazions on each eyelid. They had gotten so out of hand that they were kinda spreading to his upper cheeks. Think about that one for a while.
If I’m not mistaken, the whole procedure, including the wiping up of the blood, and the wound cauterisation, and the eyewashing, and applying the eyepatch that made me look like a character in a Trevor Brown painting, took about an hour. I get to see Dr Lim again for a follow-up this Tuesday. Hooray for Modern Medicine!
Lucky for you, I forgot to take ‘before’ photos, so you’ll just have to use your God-given imaginations. And you can stop throwing up now, I’m all done with my story!