Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I Want a Bath
For those of you lucky enough to not have these problems, I am a fair-haired blond with a family history of skin cancer, and I am covered in freckles and moles. Not freakishly so or anything, but there are plenty of the little bastids. So many and so odd that I have a set of photographs about three inches thick that I have to bring with me to appointments, so the docs can see if any of the moles have changed significantly since the last time the photos were taken. If the moles have changed, that's a sign they may be cancerous.
I've had a bunch of moles taken off, starting when I was age four. Most have been "dysplastic." That's medical-speak for weird. (Sometimes they also call it "pre-cancerous.") For a while I was convinced all my skin cells were just weird.
Since I forgot the photos, and the images in the computer file at the dermatologists weren't that great, and I couldn't tell the doc whether the moles had changed at all (one is on my back where I can't even see it), she decided better safe than sorry. (Which, given my family history, I can't really blame her for.) So she removed one mole off my right calf and one off my right lower back. (As it turned out, both moles were perfectly normal.) And I am supposed to keep them covered with petroleum jelly and bandages until the wounds are healed. No soaking the wounds, which means no baths.
I am losing my freaking mind.
Baths are how I relax. The bathtub is where I read. It's my warm happy fortress of solitude.
I haven't had a proper bath for over a month. I had a crappy bath last month when I had bad stomach cramps, and figured out I could lay on my left side and balance my right leg on the tub rim and only fill the tub half-way and it at least worked on the cramps without getting my wounds wet. But that's not particularly relaxing, nor a good way to read a book.
Also, the skin of my torso is sensitive and most commercial adhesive bandages eat my skin off. Seriously. (I don't seem to have this problem on the tougher areas of my skin that see the light of day. Go figure.) So I had to use gauze pads and Hypafix. Gods, I love that stuff, but after a while even it will start making my skin very angry.
It's been five or six weeks now, and the wounds are closed up enough that I've said screw it, I'm done with the bandaging. I don't care if they scab over. Gods know I have enough mole-removal scars already; a couple more aren't going to kill me. (Not that the dressings prevent scarring. Maybe it's supposed to heal faster? Beats me.)
The back seems pretty much healed up. The calf is a bit scabby, but I don't care. I'm having a bath, dang it.