Monday, February 14, 2011

A concerning doctor's visit

(warning- puss mentioned, so if you have a sensitive stomach, just stop reading once the doctor comes in the room)

A few days ago, I started developing a third nipple. That's concerning enough, but it was the placement and pain level that really freaked me out. Where was this third nipple, you may ask? It is on my calf.

By this morning, I was really having a tough time walking, which makes exercising difficult. It also was making me turn into a whiny baby, and generally a pain in the a..... um, calf to live with.

I made an appointment to see a doctor this afternoon.

When I got there, they gave me one of those light up flashing coasters that restaurants use. I thought this was funny, considering there was only one other person in the waiting room. Nevertheless, I sat down with my coaster.

Within a few minutes, it went off, and I obediently gave it to the medical assistant waiting for me. She took my back, and took all of my vitals (pulse, oxygen level, weight, blood pressure). The blood pressure machine was facing away from me, so I couldn't see what my blood pressure was. She looked concerned and said, "Your bottom blood pressure (sic) is kind of high. Maybe it's because you're feeling anxious, or maybe you took the stairs. If you want, you can sit here and relax for a few minutes and we can retake it if you'd like."

Concerned, I looked at my blood pressure to see what it was.


Really? 120/80 is considered "normal". 83 wouldn't make anyone even bat an eyelash, or so I thought. Meanwhile, this MA is sitting there looking really concerned.

I took a couple deep breaths to fend off the attack of the giggles coming on. Then, I told her that it's normally lower, and I wasn't concerned, and she could count that as my blood pressure. Still a bit unconvinced, she led me back to a room.

Eventually, the doctor came back. He was very nice, and could be a great candidate for the general family doctor that I've been half heartedly looking for.

I showed him the third nipple. He informed me that it wasn't a nipple, but an abscess (ANOTHER abscess?!). I couldn't decide whether to be relieved or disappointed. I lean towards relieved, since I think I have pretty nice legs, and having a nipple on the calf generally isn't considered classically beautiful.

He told me we have two options:
1- put me on oral antibiotics, and come back in a couple days if it's not improving
2- lance it

I told him that I'm a picker, and generally speaking, I'd be all over lancing it. However, I was pretty sure that it was full of blood, not puss, and that's really not a lot of fun to pick at.

Now it was the doctor's turn to try and keep a straight face (he doesn't know me well enough to know that it's ok to laugh at me). He told me he agreed with me. He said my abscess was XXX (can't remember the technical term, but basically, rather hard to the touch, and felt/appeared as though there was no puss) vs. YYY (which would feel really soft and squishy, and look like it was ready to pop). So, he measured the actual abscess (2 cm), and then drew a line around the reddened, infected surrounding area (about 5") to mark where it was at. Then, he gave me a prescription for some antibiotics, and sent me on my way.

I'm hoping that I feel better tomorrow, because I'm even sick of my whining!

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