Friday, 17 September 2010

Thursday 16th September 10 Lipoma removal

I got up reasonably early as today I was booked into the Leeds General Infirmary to surgically remove my forehead lipoma.  I've had this quite a few years; it's a fatty lump, benign, not harmful, but if it's in a visible place, people do notice it and some ask about it.  Mine has looked like I've bumped my head and got a bruise or 'egg' for several years.  When I took it to my GP after it became very obvious, he described it as the size of a squashed pea, and told me not to worry about it.

However, as it got bigger, an average of two people a week would ask me if I'd bumped my head.  I grew tired of having to explain what a lipoma was.  Children especially are really good at just saying what's in their mind, and sometimes have no concept of whether it's appropriate or not to mention strange lumps on people's foreheads.  The worst time was when in a committee meeting quite recently, someone kept on looking at it; it was most off putting and I found it difficult to concentrate on the meeting because of that.

So today I cycled down to the station, hopped on a train which got in to Leeds at about 11.45, and walked up to the Art Gallery where I sat and had my sandwiches for lunch, listening to the aural sculptures. Then I walked up to the LGI and followed the signs to the Clarendon Wing.  I went to the wrong bit at first, the plastic surgery dressings place (I was sent there by Reception) and they phoned through to Ward 63 to find out if I was on their list, which I was.  So once I'd got there I sat and waited, then was called in to have my blood pressure taken and an identification band put on my wrist.  Then I went to wait again, and there was friendly chat in the waiting room.  Then I was called again and the Doctor drew an arrow above my lump and I signed the consent form.  Then more waiting... but not long.  I was called again and told to take off mt tee shirt and put on a gown.  My canvas bag and bum bag were put in a locker and into the theatre I went.

I was asked to lie on a trolley/table and assorted covers were put on me, my head washed with antiseptic and eyes covered up.  I had I think three local anaesthetic injections, which are never nice, but aren't really that awful.  Then there was a fair amount of pushing and pulling and I recognised the crackling sound of cauterisation, where a wire is caused to heat up with an electric current, and this is used to seal blood vessels, as the area is well supplied with blood. I guess the operation took about 20 minutes.  I'd already said I'd be interested to see what they took out, so when they were done and had taken the tape off my eyes, I was shown the little plastic jar with some clear liquid in it, containing my lipoma, a pink blob, like a Smartie or a Minstrel in shape, and size-wise, somewhere between the two I think.  It had been growing between my skull and muscle.  Apparently they can appear anywhere, under the skin, within tissues, even within a nerve.  So mine was easy to remove.  They deal with quite a few.  Mine will be sent for analysis, to check it is in fact a lipoma and nothing more serious.

So I had a coffee and 10 minutes rest, and a talk about coming back in a week to have the dressings removed, and about not getting it wet and not doing vigorous exercise for a couple of days.  I got my tee shirt back on and gathered my stuff and walked back to the station, leaving the hospital at 2.45.  I got back into the house at 4.30.

I was fussed over but didn't want fussing over.  I'd bought paracetamol in Leeds Station and that had kicked in and the soreness and pain was gradually going.  Gill made tea... microwaved sweet potato and mushrooms in white sauce, with goats cheese, and broccoli.

After this I went to do just a bit of gentle wooding; to the place where the shrubs and trees have been dumped, and I sorted through them, secateuring off twigs and thinner stuff, ending up with another trailer load to bring back.  I chopped this up with loppers and put my bike away and came in.

A quiet evening dealing with fruit ensued, with quite a bit of facebook stuff.

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