... and I hope they won't cut off more than is absolutely necessary!
Of my ear, that is!
It all started with a small wound on my right ear about the size of a nail head that wouldn’t heal. I didn’t know where it had come from. I couldn’t remember injuring myself there. It was a mystery wound.
I decided the prudent thing would be to ignore it and hope it went away. But it didn't! So I went to see a doctor.
He told me it was probably a blood vessel too close to the skin that needed cauterizing, and set me up an appointment with a dermatologist.
After the dermatologist had examined my ear, I asked, "Well, Doc, what is it?”
“Let me put it like this, what’s your star sign?”
“We can all have our little jokes, Mr Goerman. Don’t worry, it won’t spread, but it is a form of skin cancer – what we call a rodent ulcer, or a basal cell carcinoma. It’s caused by excessive exposure to sun in earlier life. Have you ever spent a lot of time in the sun?”
I certainly had, back in the days when sunshine was good for you and we soaked up as much of it as we could get, little dreaming that one day it would be as dangerous as coffee, alcohol, food, water and air.
Anyway, I’ve seen all the medical dramas, so I was straight in with the pointed questions.
“So er… er… what are my options?”
“Well, you could simply leave it there until your whole ear rots, which might work as a conversation starter, or you could do what most people do and have it removed.”
“With a knife?”
“Couldn’t you do it with a laser, or a damp cloth or something?”
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing. Chop chop, couple of stitches, ten minutes tops.”
“Technical term. Do you have private insurance?"
With my good ear, I could hear a cash-register ringing somewhere in the background as I answered, "Yes."
"Good. Because it needs to be done by a plastic surgeon.”
"Thank you, Dr Schweitzer!"