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Blog // Thoughts
July 8, 2016

Cut Again

It wasn’t till a few minutes later, sitting in the bizarre carnival that is the food court of Tokyo Tower, that it hit me, the shaking, the nerves, the shock. It was a lot smaller than last time. I guess I knew what was happening now, I could talk myself through it, calm the nerves […]

It wasn’t till a few minutes later, sitting in the bizarre carnival that is the food court of Tokyo Tower, that it hit me, the shaking, the nerves, the shock. It was a lot smaller than last time. I guess I knew what was happening now, I could talk myself through it, calm the nerves as it were. I stared into my coffee and waited for it to pass.

This morning I had a small medical procedure, a surgery, to remove a cyst, a hard ball of infection, on my back. The same problem I had a few years ago had flared up again. I wrote about that experience, but what I left off was the follow up, how the condition had progressed in the years since.

The last operation didn’t fix the problem entirely. Maybe the surgeon wasn’t able to remove all the cyst. Maybe travelling a few days later to Penang, with an open wound, to photograph the Thaipusam festival amongst hundreds of thousands of devotees wasn’t the best recuperation strategy. I don’t know. But, the cyst came back. It was smaller, less of a problem, but it was there.

Then, a few weeks ago, on a very hot and humid evening at the start of the rainy season, it became a problem again. We went out for dinner, a local Okonomiyaki place, the kind where you sit at a low table and cook your own food on hot plates. Perhaps not the best choice for a night like that. The food was great, but by the time we had walked home, my back felt odd. A day later, the area around the cyst wound started to swell up.

Of course, the dinner didn’t cause the problem, though I couldn’t help but wonder if the change of weather had in some way triggered whatever what wrong in my body. Regardless of the cause, the swelling continued and I had to go see the doctor. It was clear the problem was only getting worse and so it was time to be cut again.

This procedure was very different. In Singapore the treatment was more like the US, a surgeon with an operating team, who were surprised I didn’t want to go down under a general anaesthetic. Today, the treatment, was low key, more like something I would expect in the UK. I chatted with the surgeon about hiking trails in Japan while waiting for the local to take effect, we continued to talk about our kids while I could feel the ball of the cyst come out, then we joked about how big it was once it had been removed.

I’m resting up now and it will be a quiet weekend ahead. I don’t have any big epiphanies to share like last time. I guess this is what getting older feels like. We have more and more of these kinds of experiences and we have no choice but to accept them, roll with them, and enjoy life regardless.

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Responses
Toni 3 years ago

Sounds like the op went well – much better to have that infection walled off in a cyst than running freely around your body!

Surgery is curious under local. I had a vasectomy nearly 20 years ago, and ended up discussing work with the surgeon while he was busy. At the same time it was fascinating to see what he was doing and to relate the sensations to information from my eyes.

Hopefully the result of this will be swift recovery, rather than stored trauma, for you.

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