2012 - 2017 Travel Map (Map NOT Current) - Now in South Prairie Washington

Great weather and Surgery for Mark!

January 7 - 10, 2014 

We are now in a great stretch of great weather!  Tuesday the 7th wasn't good but that was the last of the bad weather for at least the next 10 days to 2 weeks.  Even Tuesday was just cloudy and in the mid-50s.  I think we will all just forget the bad cold wet weather now that we have had 4 days of good and no bad in site now. I can now even park in the grass on our site again!

As for me having surgery, it was for a simple cyst removal from my right ear lobe.  This is the second one I have had in this ear now.  I had the first one removed something like 8-10 years ago.  Soon after another one started to form in the same place.  It stayed small, about the size of a BB, not noticeable at all.  About a year ago it started to grow again and grew to completely fill up my ear lobe.  It was very noticeable.  Now even Patty said I should have it removed.  So that’s what I did, I had it removed.

There it is, the cyst.

If you know me I need to make a story out of this cyst removal and how our health care system is out of whack! 

The first time I had this cyst removed 8-10 years ago the Dr. did it in his office on my first visit.   He asked if I had an hour’s time and then took out the cyst right there with just local anesthesia.  No big deal.  Ah, those were the days!

It was absolutely not going to be like that this time though! This time it was completely different.  On my first appointment with the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Doctor I saw him for all of 20 seconds.  He said, yea that cyst is big; I’ll cut it out from the back if that’s what you want, no problem and left.  I then spent the next half hour with a friendly woman in a cushy office discussing the details of where, when, and how much.  It was agreed that we would shoot for this Thursday so as to give everyone enough time to make sure the insurance would pay for all of this procedure.  By the way, it’s just a cyst in an ear lobe!  The nice woman will give me a call when she knows my insurance will pay.
This is the ENT Doctor's office.  Somebody needs to pay for the marble floors.

It didn’t take long for the nice woman to call me back the following afternoon on the 7th and let me know I would need to just pay the Doctor $100, insurance would pay the rest.  So I need to return to the Dr. office, get the Dr. orders and pay my $100.  Then, with my Dr. orders, go to the hospital and register there.   

So, that’s what I did, I went to the hospital to register on Wednesday the 8th.  This was more than just registering though.  First was a financial advisor, then in for blood work, next was an EKG, and then last a nurse to explain the operation procedure at the hospital.  I also needed to sign a lot of paper work allowing them to do everything to me including giving me blood transfusions, “just in case” she said.  Again, this is all for a small cyst in an ear lobe!

That evening, before the surgery day, we went to our first happy hour at Sandy’s Bar.  It's named after the wife of Big Bill, on whose site Sandy's Bar is located. Sandy lost her battle with cancer only a few years ago.  Each Wednesday, with good weather, lots of people gather here to have drinks and socialize.  It was a little cool after the sun went down so there was a fire to keep us warm.  It was a nice happy hour and we enjoyed it.

Thursday the 9th, the day of surgery.  I needed to be there by 7 am, we got there by 6:45 am.  There must have been 60 – 70 people getting out-patient surgery this morning and 99% were Spanish speaking. Finally it was my turn!  I had to get undressed and put on the typical hospital gown and get into bed with warm blankets, how nice!  Next were more papers to sign and to re-sign.  I was told that I needed to re-sign as the old paper work I signed yesterday needed to be signed again today to be real sure.  Somewhere there is an attorney in this! Then I am introduced to the anesthesiologist.   Really, I really need to be put out for this?!  Well yes I do because the Dr. doesn’t want me to be uncomfortable.  I really think the Dr. doesn’t want to be uncomfortable; he’s not concerned with my comfort at all.

So, now I have an IV, have taken pills to keep me from puking, and to relax me.  I’m really feeling pretty good now!  I am rolled into the operating room and they give me anesthesia to put me out so I can have a cyst removed.  I guess it was about an hour later I wake up with the cyst gone and am ready to leave the hospital.  Yup, I needed to be taken out via a wheel chair.

In summary, the first cyst removal 10 years ago took 1.5 hours and one Dr.  Now, in 2014, it took 8 hours’ time, an EKG, lab work, an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, several nurses, financial people, and space in a hospital.  Now I know why our health care costs so much!  

I sort of hesitated before putting this picture in the blog.  It's not real pretty!  Hopefully it looks better after it has healed!

The rest of the day on Thursday I just took it easy. 

I remember when Patty had two cysts removed from her arm pit on two different occasions and they didn't put her out for that, rather they gave her a local. Why couldn't he do that for me?!

Friday the 10th I was determined to play water volley ball. Alas, it wasn't going to happen.  Around noon we lost water to the park.  Without water for a soapy shower we are not allowed in the pools. 

We are told that the loss of water has happened several times this season.  On 2 sides of the park there is construction work being done on an irrigation system for the farm land.  The contractors have managed to cut the water to the park several times in just the past 3 months.  This was the first time for us though.  

Anyway, without water to take showers, we are not allowed to go into the pools or hot tub.  The park tries very hard to not use many chemicals in the pool so they require showers with soap before entering the pools.  The showers are even to be done if you have been out of the pool a little while.  It’s sort of a pain but the water is crystal clear and very little smell of chlorine.  So we can live with this.  Anyway that killed my aspirations for water volley ball for today.  It’s probably a good thing so soon after the ear surgery.

Later on that evening I filled our fresh water tank so that if the water goes out again, we can use our pump and be OK for a while.  I should have done this when I first heard of the possibility of the water going out.  I think filling the fresh water tank is a good idea anyway when you are staying somewhere for a while, just in case.

Our new brat sandwich, without the bun! This works for hot dogs as well.  Cooked the brat on the grille, put the brat on a small tortilla with cheddar cheese and onions, roll it up and place back on the grille. Great way to reduce bread and it tastes better to boot!

That night the park was very noisy.  I had a very hard time getting any sleep.  The land next to the park on our left side has weekend parties sometimes.  The parties are pretty loud with Mexican/Latina music.  These parties seem to be organized as opposed to just a bunch of people showing up next door.  There are announcers with a PA system too. Well, this party went on until a little after 2 am!  I’m usually not affected by this sort of thing, but this time I was.

Saturday the 11th we signed up for breakfast at the clubhouse.  Breakfast is served from 7:45 to 9 am.  They had French toast, eggs to order, 2 types of potatoes, sausage, and wheat toast all for $4 each.  This is all done by volunteers with the proceeds going to the entertainment fund for all of us.  After breakfast I took a 3 mile walk and then took a 2 hour nap.  Then it was time for some water volley ball!

Saturday evening we joined the weekly darts game.  This is a real fun event with a great turnout.  We have about 20 people playing darts, drinking, and socializing.  It’s a lot of fun and I have been getting pretty good at it.  There is talk of making me a full time team captain!  

The weather seems like it is now going to stay warm and dry for the next week anyway or as far out as they can predict. So it’s now fun in the sun!

Stay tuned!

1 comments:

Steve and Dianne said...

Wow Mark...what an ordeal! I had a servacious cyst removed a couple of years ago in my armpit. I was in and out with just a local in less than hour including the paper work.