Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A surgical day


I had stitches taken out of two excisions today.  In the morning I attended at the offices of my plastic surgeon to get the stitches out of an excision on my leg.  And I learned that what had come out was a keratocanthoma.  Yes, it is as nasty as it sounds but not dangerous.  I think I have had most of the skin cancers known to dermatology by now. No melanomas, however -- thankfully.  It seems you have to have a fair bit of melanin in your skin to get melanomas and I have the fair Irish skin, with freckles

It was on my right upper leg where the skin is quite tight so Russell had a job putting me back together when it came out. So the skin was fairly stretched and did not respond too well to that.  The site became rather inflamed.  So I deferred getting the stitches out for two weeks, instead of my usual 10 days.

But I am a fast healer so the stitches had become pretty embedded by that time. So the nurse could not get them out.  Russell had to put on his magnifiers and dig them out himself -- which hurt a bit. But it all seems to have settled down now and I remained in good cheer throughout.

Then in the afternoon I attended at the offices of my GP.  He took some stitches out of my right upper arm.  The excision was an easy one with plenty of loose skin at the site so I generally get my GP to do the easy ones.  Not many of mine are easy, however.  My tumours seem to have the habit of popping up in the most inconvenient places.

When my GP excises something it is free -- on Medicare. When a specialist excises something it costs a vast sum so Medicare only gives me about a third of it back.  After the Medicare contribution I can still be $1,000 out of pocket for just one excision.  But I need top skills for most of my excisions so I am glad I can afford it.  I put aside in my early life what I need now in my shaky old age.

When I go to the GP it is always a social occasion.  He is a very cheerful and lively chap from a background similar to my own.  He even knows Innisfail, where I grew up.  And we both have very similar conservative political views so we always have a laugh about the day's political follies.

The Housing Commission housed a lot of African refugees close to his surgery a while back and I have observed the evolution in his attitude towards them.  There are always a lot of Africans in his waiting room these days.  He started out reasonably optimistic about them but he is now very negative.  He has seen a lot of concerning behaviour from them and does not speak well of them. So what I have seen is no PREjudice from him at all but an evolution of POSTjudice due to experience.

So it was a rather interesting day and I rounded it off with a Thai Green curry and rice for supper plus apple and rhubarb pie with cream for dessert. And while I was eating my pie Joe came and sat with me and talked a bit about his future directions. So it ended up a really good day.

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