Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Am Horny

I have a lump on my head. It is fairly large and lives on my forehead, about an inch from the hairline. I have no idea how long it has been there, sometime between birth and today, what trauma (if any) caused it, and whether or not it has grown since it first appeared.

You would think that I would know all of these things. You would think that I would have called it to the attention of a doctor somewhere along the line. But you would be wrong.

A doctor did notice it recently, and expressed concern. He thought it might be a tumor. He ordered x-rays, and sent me to a head and neck surgeon. There must be a lot of people having head and neck surgery because it took four months to get an appointment.

Today was D-Day. I had collected the original x-rays from the hospital for his edification and enjoyment, and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to the wilds of beautiful Marin County to see the Wizard of Heads & Necks.

He entered talking. I am normally the one who, once started, cannot be stopped, the one who walks away and leaves my mouth running. I was totally outclassed by this guy, who had the ability to put together more words, faster, than anyone I have ever known except maybe tobacco auctioneers.

He might want to cut back on his espresso consumption or something.

He asked if it bothered me. Well, I don't look like a unicorn or anything (yet,) but still, it shouldn't be there. The movie, Alien, comes to mind, not anybody's best look.

He asked about relatives who have had cancer. I started to list them, but he lost interest and started a new topic.

I tried to think of what might actually enthrall him. Besides the sound of his own voice, I couldn't think of anything.

Apparently, it is bone, growing outward. The medical term is exostpsis, which looks as if it's missing a vowel or two. It is not menacing my brain at this time, but should be removed lest it change course and become aggressive.

Doctor Head & Neck gave me options. He could make incisions above and below it and drill the bone. I believe he said he would file it down. It sounded a lot like carpentry. There would be a scar. Was that a problem?

Well, yeah. It might look dashing, like a lady pirate, but I would prefer not to have a scar on my face. The other option, we'll call them A & B, would be more extensive and would require general anesthesia.

He would make an incision across the top of my head from ear to ear, pull the skin down, and do his woodworking thing on the bony knob, then pull the skin up and sew me together again.

Da da. Presto change-o. Mandrake the magician lives.



I remarked that Option B sounded a bit drastic. He smiled, but resisted the urge to lick his chops at the thought of all that cutting, drilling and sanding he would be licensed to do inside my head.

I said that it sounded a lot like a facelift, and that if I was going to go through all that, there ought to be some cosmetic benefit as well.

"Oh, there is," he said. ""You won't have a visible scar."

I was thinking of something a little more significant than that. Like looking 20 years younger. Getting rid of the bump on my forehead would just be collateral damage control.

He handed me a magnifying mirror and pointed out a horizontal wrinkle on my forehead. He seemed overjoyed that it was there because he could bury the scar in it. For some reason, he expected that its presence would elate me, too.

I asked if we could just watch it for a while and see if it keeps growing. He assured me that he was there to help.

We agreed to measure my bony protuberance again in three months.

If I start to look like Michelangelo's horned Moses, I will take that as a sign from God that it needs to be surgically removed. But until then, my anarchic hair provides pretty good camouflage.

50 comments:

monicker said...

Hair can cover all manner of ailments - mine's keeping the world from knowing how misshapen the back of my skull is. Hope all goes well for you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Monicker,

Maybe I'll turn it into an asset and make it up to look like my third eye.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

hearts,
well, glad it isn't cancer. One bump isn't too bad either. when you develop a pair of horns, a tail and your skin turns red, then you really ought to look at your family history again.

Pickled Olives said...

look at it this way, maybe the bump is already keeping wrinkles at bay. A cheap facelift if you will.

Is there anything worse than doctors who visibly want to cut you? (shiver)

furiousBall said...

she's lump
she's lump
she's lump...

sorry

you know you can auction it off on ebay afterwards and become a gagillionaire

velvet girl said...

To be honest, I'd probably want general anesthesia even for the less invasive surgery. Then again, I would probably pass out from hearing them getting all "This Old House" on my skull, so I guess that I wouldn't really need it.

Still, I'm very glad it's not cancer. What a relief!

-velvet

Odat said...

Geeze, just another doctor wanting thousands of bucks for an unnecessary operation!!!
Leave it alone...as long as it's not hurting you!
Peace

goodthomas said...

There seems to be a connection between this post and yesterday's post. Am I crazy here? Am I reading too much into it?

Glad you are okay. I love the third eye thought. Very sexy, very nice.

meno said...

It's odd what unusual things our bodies can do.

I like the wait and see option.

Judith said...

You must have been worried sick- glad all is ok and its not the big C. The tousled look hides a multitude especially if you fell into bed wearing make-up and run out the door late - Ive got that whole harridan look going on for me today - it keeps the nut jobs from talking to me LOL

Lee said...

Oh that gives me a bit of a migraine just thinking about it! Third eye! Third eye! Third eye!

I love it!

Bob said...

there are people who have surgery to have lumps put ONTO their skulls. and to think you want to get rid or yours! too bad you aren't a satan worshipper.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Squirrel,

Well, I'm sure that gentleman was a relative. But he was a healthy devil.

Olives,

I did have the fleeting thought that if it was removed, my skin might pouch because it would be looser. Yukkk.

Furious,

I heard about somebody in England getting$10,000 US on Ebay for a leftover cooked turnip from Thanksgiving dinner.

Not sure it's true since Great Britain doesn't have T-day. We do to celebrate that we're not British anymore. So maybe it's an urban legend.

Velvet,

This Old Noggin, you mean. I think he might have mentioned his intention to "plane" it down.

He scared me to death.

Odat,

Well, rich doctors gotta live too, you know. This procedure seems a little too up close and personal, though.

Thomas,

The lump on my head is quite solid and won't pop, but there is a general similarity to these posts, now that you mention it.

Meno,

Sometimes I think my body thinks to itself, "How can we amaze her today? Hey, y'all, watch THIS!"

Judith,

A woman's got to do what a woman's got to do. Do you buy your stuff at Harridans R Us?

I always look tousled. My hair has its own agenda and cannot be persuaded to be docile.

Lee,

How does off-center third eye grab you?

Bob,

You're making an assumption here.

Christina_the_wench said...

Lord. How crazy is that? Your options stink. can't they go in from the top of the head and work down?? (no visible scars at least)

Yeah, I know nothing of surgery. Can you tell?

I'll say some prayers that it disappears by itself.

Dan said...

Jeez, you've been through a lot. I can feel for you, all joking aside. I'm very glad the tests ruled out all those other terrible things, but the thoughts swirling through your head before you knew what this was must have been agonizing. Hugs and kisses to you right now.

And you're right about "exostpsis". It should really be something like "exosetposis". Yeah! That's better.

Hang in there my friend. An extra hug and kiss. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Christina,

That was one of the options. I didn't like the idea of my face being peeled down like a Halloween mask. I"m funny that way.

Dan,

Awwww, you're so sweet. Thank you for all the kind support. Love you back.

Jay said...

Yeah, I would totally be looking for the second one...a little pair of horns is kind of cute on a chick.


Anyway. I hope you can take care of it with minimal invasion. Surgeons always get aroused the more they can cut you, but that doesn't mean you have to let them!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jay,

"Aroused" is definitely the word. I felt like I was lunch, and he was starving.

Cristin said...

If only I could have your running commentary going on in my head at all times. Life would be much more interesting.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Cristin,

Why, thank you! I just checked out your blog for the first time and had to bookmark it as it's quite interesting, too.

Thank you for visiting me.

Lee said...

Well, you ARE very unique. Wouldn't want a centered third eye like all the boring folk.

MsLittlePea said...

oh you! So glad it's not cancer. Are you going to get a second opinion? I can't believe it took that long for an appointment with a specialist! Well, no, I can.

jali said...

So...when you say you're horny...

I was soooo nervous reading this post and I'm so relieved that it's not cancer.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I'm going to paint it like it's winking.

People will run, screaming, from me in the streets.

Ms. Pea,

It did seem like a long time to wait. The guy is obviously a rock star, and it's not lost on him.

I thought of a second opinion, but I didn't like the options this one offered and it's easier to ignore one doctor than two.

Jali,

I thought that would get your attention.

Thanks for your good thoughts. XOXO.

Lee said...

You friggin rock. I wish I lived near you. You could meet my arm dragon Buttercup. He looks fierce but is really quite nice once you get to know him.

thethinker said...

Haha, I love the title.

I use my hair to cover up an abnormally large forehead. Bangs can work wonders. (Good thing it wasn't cancerous. Keep us updated!)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I would be honored to meet Buttercup. And if I got a dragon tat, we could set up play dates for them.

Thinker,

You must be one 'a them highbrow chicks. Bangs would cover up my horn thing. It's been a few years, but I love them.

I try to go for maximum effect on titles. That way, nobody cares what the rest of the post says.

Kate S said...

Holy crap. I'm sorry to read that. I hope it just stops what it's doing and leaves you alone.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kate,

Thank you so much. And I just hope it isn't some kind of alien lifeform that will suddenly decide to burst out of my face, probably while I'm driving.

katrice said...

My grandmother, uncle, and one of my pastors has this bump. It showed up mysteriously sometime during their adulthood and has never bothered them. Unexplained, but not a huge deal, apparently.

Let us know what you decide.

And I got a mental image from the comment just above mine. A hilarious one.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Katrice,

That's very reassuring. Thanks for sharing this.

Are their bumps also on their foreheads? It looks like a large hive, but is hard because it's bone.

mist1 said...

No way. The thought of someone sanding my head makes my scalp want to run away.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Mist,

That is my inclination. Scalping always was a nasty practice.

Jingoistic said...

Is it likely to change course and grow inwards?

Cece said...

Oh wow. I think I would've passed out in the office just talking about that. Gah!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jingo,

It might. But then again, it might not. Until they can offer me definitive proof that I am in danger, I will probably live with it.

Thank you for your visit.

Cece,

It did cross my mind. But I was pretty sure he wouldn't catch me before I hit the floor.

Kevin Charnas said...

I've gone through some medical issues myself and when they tell me something or ask me what I'd like to do or have done, I look them straight in the eye and with all sincerity I ask, "What would you do if it were you?"

I think that it's actually caught them off-guard many times. And there have been some surprising answers.

I hope that things go well for you and that it actually starts to shrink in the next 3 months (stranger things have happened - think positive), and in the meantime, I'll think good thoughts for you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kevin,

I have used that exact line many times. Usually, they get uncomfortable. But then, a lot of doctors smoke and I don't, so for all I know, they would choose the most self-destructive option.

Thank you for your comforting thoughts, and yes, anything is possible. I was once scheduled for biopsy of a breast lump, and in the month preceding it, I talked to it and asked it to go away.

When the day arrived, I was on the table with an IV in place when the doctor decided to check it out manually before proceding. It was gone. They unhooked me and I went home, smiling at their surprise.

Life is mysterious.

Thailand Gal said...

I would say that as long as it's not bothering you, why mess with it? It's something different and unique and, as you said, make it look like a 3rd eye and charge people for words of wisdom. :)


Peace,

~Chani

urban-urchin said...

Hearts- it's just your skull making room for your gigantic brain.

Seriously I would consider perhaps asking a plastic surgeon to close (and if you are serious- a minor brow lift ) the scar will be much much less severe.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Charge people, you say...? Why, how very larcenous of you, Thailand Gal. (Louie, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.)

Urchin,

That's a great idea if I do it. But I'm thinking I probably won't.

Seriously, how do you get a doctor who is an expert in his field to step aside for a plastic surgeon? It's a sad thing when patients don't get the best care because of practitioners' egos.

I am not Star Jones said...

i hope your horn decides to shrink.

and have you considered acupuncture?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Star,

I think acupuncture is great, but doubt that it would have any effect on bone. Although there is skin over this bump, it is actually bone run amok.

Thank you for your suggestion, though. For almost anything else, it could be the answer.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Surgeons are always proud of their work. I wish you the best in your decision and outcome.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

JR,

I believe he's a good surgeon. I just don't like the idea of someone using power tools on me. Remember "Fargo" with the wood chipper?

Thanks for your good wishes, and your visit.

Crankster said...

Stay away from virgins.

And Voldemort.

Other than that, roam free, brave one!

djn said...

Yikes. I don't like the sounds of that. I don't ever want anyone drilling into my head. I'm glad your hair will cover it and SO glad it's not cancer.

BTW, I would have had to ask the doctor if he had ants in his pants...

Stewart Sternberg said...

I always resented Michaelangelo's horned Moses. Maybe it's that antiSemitic thing. But hearts, let's talk about the bump. By all means it should be measured and you should be monitored, but how big would it have to get for you to consider surgery. Me? It would have to get so large that I was having trouble keeping my head up. It would have to be so large that small children were trying to ride it.

Thank God it's not cancer. My old friend Mr. C.

Pendullum said...

I have a girlfriend who just had brain surgery...(Thank goodness she is great now...) But what was really funny...
Well, we laugh now, they stapled the map of her brain onto her skull so they would know where to operate...
Now, how messedup is that???
Stapled to her skull!!!!!
So when I went to see her she looked like Frankenstein...
The puncture holes have faded and the bangs cover it quite nicely...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Crankster,

Are there any virgins over the age of 10?

and

Do you think there is any connection between Voldemort and Fiennes getting arrested for DUI recently?

Djn,

My hair is covering the bump now pretty well, and I don't want to have the surgery.

Stewart,

I did occur to me that my growing horns might prove Michelangelo right. I have always been sooo disappointed because he was a magnificent artist, and I worship art. (I prefer his David - underendowed but hornless.)

I'm thinking the lump will have to have its own zip code and be known in capitals, ie. The Lump, before I allow Dr. Exacto to mutilate me.

You've had cancer? I hope you're well now and permanently.

Pendullum,

I'm glad your friend is better now, and if I didn't watch Gray's Anatomy and ER, I would be shocked at the doctors stapling a map to her skull. It seems they're always propping directions on the patient's unconscious body.

I would prefer not to be a doctor's surgical baptism.