A sub-title might be, Little Things Can Be Big Problems. For a month I fussed over what I call a “saddle sore” which would not go away and made my cycling a little more painful with each, successive ride. It felt as if a pea-sized pebble was inside my shorts, right where my butt hit the saddle.(1)
My periodontist is also a cyclist, and I mentioned my recent trouble to him when I was in to see him this week. He was about to cut my gum open (again) and dig back into that area where I’d had that “root amputation” done a while back. It came up when I said, “Man, this is nothing compared to what I went through yesterday.” Naturally he took the bait and asked what I was talking about. So while he and Johanna, the assistant, were waiting for my local anesthetic to kick in I told them.
I said that about a week before, having endured as many uncomfortable rides as I could stand, I decided to make an appointment at the dermatologist’s office for an appointment. At this point being somewhat desperate I said I’d take whatever doctor was first available. So naturally, the first available appointment was with a female dermatologist and the appointment was a week out. So for a week I had to think about the embarrassment of showing a woman my well, how to put this. It actually took me a few minutes to come up with a suitable answer when asked to complete a form in the office and describe the area affected. Eventually I came up with “groin,” but in actuality just kind of think of where a real skinny bike seat might hit my seat.
Once back in the exam room I first had to answer a bunch of uncomfortable questions for an assistant, of course female. Then she pulled out a gown and said to put it on while she went for the doctor. I actually only stripped to my underwear and put the gown over my lap and was sitting like that when the doctor entered. I must say that she handled the initial interview as professionally as possible, but eventually came the part where I had to take the rest off. As I stood to do this she said, “Oh wait, I have to get someone else in here.” So great, in comes yet another female assistant to observe my strip and the whole rest of this sorry affair. I said, “Jeez, could you possibly get any more women in here to observe this?” This did elicit a small chuckle from the doctor and in the telling, big laughs from the periodontist and his assistant.
There was a lot of manipulating me into a position where I’m sure I couldn’t possibly have anything left to hide. Included was an attempt by the assistant to get a pillow under my head, during which process she hit me in the face with it. Amid her apology I yelled “pillow fight,” which got more chuckles and did lighten the mood a bit. Steps that followed included a shot of local anesthetic, cutting and squeezing and finally the unfortunate assessment that she was not having any success at, let’s just say, reducing the size of the pea. In the end (ooh, there’s an unintended pun), what I’m left with is a ten-day course of a pretty nasty antibiotic and this not so good prognosis: In about three weeks, if the pea has not reduced in size (not much optimism shown for this by the way) to call her back, and she’d arrange for a surgeon to cut the damn thing out.
“And people think what I do for a living is disgusting,” said the periodontist.
“Yeah, at least no one’s coming in here and dropping trow,” I said, at which point Johanna actually blushed and said, “That’s not in my job description.” And the two of them, now feeling much better about their jobs, proceeded to tear up my gums.
You know, I was going to go on and write some more, but I think this is enough embarrassment for one post. Thanks for reading, and hey, Happy Valentine’s Day!
(1.) For fairly obvious reasons, no photos will be included with this post.