|Silverwood Terrace scenery|
Well I made an appointment to go to the dentist. That is happening today. They said people are coming in. At the same time as getting my chipped tooth fixed, I might gather up the courage to say I lost my mouth guard. I must have thrown it in the wash with the sheets but I don't know what happened from there. Or maybe the gremlin took it.
But last week, instead of going to the dentist, I went to the dermatologist...in Boston.
This happened in the strangest way. There was a little dark, raised spot near my knee. To be honest, in a twisted effort to prove to myself that it wasn't melanoma, because it was darker than my squamous cell cancers, I picked at it. Yes, I know, that is weird and gross. I got left with a little scab that didn't go away. You can STOP here if you don't want any more details.
To continue, though, as I have said, I have three major dermatologists, and even more, if you count the ones I have seen when my regular ones aren't available. I showed it to the people at Mohs surgery back in the real world before the pandemic, and one of the doctors there said it just looked like a scab. Next, I had a Face Time appointment with one of my other dermatologists. She said that if I was coming in, she would biopsy it, but since nobody was going in for this kind of thing, we would just leave it alone. The Mohs people like to be in on the loop, and asked to see a photo. So I sent them a photo. They day that they got it – last Tuesday – I got a call from a nurse at the office. She said to come in the next day to get it biopsied. COME IN TO BOSTON? I asked. Yes, she said, come in at 3 p.m.
Naturally I was hesitant, as Boston is a hotspot. My friendly personal chauffeur was also not hot on the idea. He didn't want me to go. I do everything they tell me to do, so I was going to go, one way or another. It was out of the question to contact the crazy driver pool. I asked Katie. She said she would do it but that would undo all the work we have done in seeing each other at a social distance, because we're not in the same germ circle. Duh. I thought of driving myself, but I was going to get an excision, and a stitch, in my knee, so that wouldn't have been a good idea. My friendly driver took me.
The doctor was also going to do something about the non-healing spot on my thumb. So there would probably be two biopsies.
I made a phone call to a local dermatologist. I could come in but it would be a week before I could get an appointment. When things settle down I'm going to see if I can get a dermatologist at Cooley Dickinson, since it is in the same network, Partners, as Brigham and Women's.
Meanwhile, I sent a photo to my regular dermatologist and gave her the news that I was going in for a biopsy. She said it didn't look like anything serious. Still, my mind raced. I thought that someone telling me to go into Boston, on a day's notice, meant that they suspected something serious.
So the next day, off we went to Faulkner Hospital, in Jamaica Plain.
It was an easy drive, and quiet at the hospital. Someone came out from behind a partition and took my temperature via my forehead. Then another person passed me a mask on a long stick. I took off my mast and put on the new one. I was in the elevator with only one other person. The office was quiet, with nobody in the waiting room. The nurse said they were seeing about five people a day.
When Dr. Schmults came in and looked at the leg, she said it didn't look serious. She said some word that I can't remember, but after she biopsied it she said it looked either like a seborrheic keratosis or a mole that was traumatized. (Did she say a traumatized mole? I don't remember. Flash back to the picking...) She also took a nice little piece out of the knuckle on my thumb. When she came at me with the needle, I said the thumb was one of my least favorite places for anesthesia, due to the lack of fat. But I had forgotten how good she is at it. She does tiny little jabs instead of one big needle, so that after the first one you don't really feel it.
I haven't gotten the results.
The knee has one dissolving stitch in it, but the thumb doesn't have anything. It's hard to keep it dry, with all the hand washing. Yesterday it didn't look so good, so I put antibiotic ointment on it and kept making sure to put a dry bandage on it.
The knee didn't hurt at all afterwards. The thumb hurt a lot. I had to lay off typing for a day.
A couple of days later a went for a run. Maybe I shouldn't have done it, because it was too late in the day when I decided that I was up for it. It was hot, and I was dragging. Yesterday I decided that it was better to do a shorter distance well than to do a longer distance poorly.
The morning walks are nice. I go along the golf course and look at the trees in bloom. The golfers are out, making me wonder when tennis will come back. In tennis, there is concern about touching a ball that someone else has touched, and if the person has the virus without knowing it, then you getting it from the ball. Some people are saying to maybe just play singles. One friend said she heard that you mark your own balls and only touch those. It seems a little far fetched. A friend from the Canoe Club sent a funny video of different ways that people are playing tennis at home. We could hit a ball around in my driveway, but somehow the scenery there, with the dumpster and all, doesn't inspire me to want to do it.
I bought some plants from an outdoor sale on Route 47. My friend isn't happy about going around people, but I have to do some things, though nothing inside. I feel that outside is safe if people are wearing masks and it is not crowded. It fit all these criteria. On the way back, I passed several asparagus stands. I got a bunch from a wagon in front of a farmhouse. When I drove into the back to turn around, an old chocolate Lab named Bailey greeted me. A kid came out of the barn with two kittens in his arms. It felt normal to choose from some bunches of asparagus on the wagon and put my money in the box.