Okay, now that I've had a Lortab and thus can function again....

Two things right off the bat: First, we don't know if the Cap'n will turn out to be benign or malignant. I'm still praying and focusing on benign, of course, and will let you all know via HN when we get path labs back.

Second, if you're one of those people with my phone number, please don't call me. Talking hurts way too much. Think of a case of strep plus tonsillitis and you'll come close.

Do not EVER refuse opiates after mouth surgery, no matter how much you hate them with the passionate flame of a thousand burning suns. I was a total idiot for doing so; thankfully, Nurse Ames had some Lortab stashed away at home and was willing to break the law on my behalf. Ain't no way Advil would be holding this pain even a little at bay.

So, the story:

Nurse Ames and I arrived bright and early at the clinic, having had a few interesting "hey, where the hell's the road we're supposed to turn on?" moments on the way. The Good Doc was gentle, thorough, and told me that I would not be able to look forward to evicting Cap'n Lumpy today, as he was way bigger than Good Doc wanted to take on in his office. "That is," he pointed out, "a rather vascular area."

He then took us into an adjacent office where I was presented with a bill for $Zillion and change. I signed all the consents and managed not to whack Ames when she leaned forward and said, "Hey....shouldn't that diploma have a date on it? And that one--is 'dentist' spelled wrong?" Ames is one of those people who looks, well, like Cherry Ames, yet who should not be trusted an inch. Not an inch.

Back into the comfy chair, mouth open, pleasant young woman explaining to me that they use propofol for sedation (how come they get propofol and my patients can't?) until I told her that I only wanted lidocaine. Which, actually, was the worst part of the whole thing: felt like I was being shot, slowly, in the roof of the mouth.

Then twenty minutes of cutting and scraping, then a couple of snapshots, then stitches.

The Good Doc explained afterward that whatever Cap'n Lumpy was, he peeled away in layers as he was being sliced into, so Doc just took him mostly out. He's still maintaining a much smaller presence in part of my soft palate, but I can already feel the difference. Lumpy was a not-vascular, granular, fatty tumor of a whitish-pink color, and God only knows what all that means.

I did have one very scary moment when Ames was out picking up drugs: either a small fresh hematoma had formed over the (seemingly enormous) incision site, or I popped a stitch while drinking broth, but all of a sudden my mouth started bleeding. A lot. As in, enough that I was leaning over the sink, just letting blood run out of my mouth, as I scrambled for a rag. After ten minutes of pressure, it let up (and felt much better almost immediately, which is why I'm thinking hematoma).

Ames walked in to find me scrubbing the blood off my elbows, with a blood-spattered shirt and a brow with lily moist and fever dew. She looked at me like I had all the brains God gave a turnip, and said, "Got any Afrin?"

I'd forgotten that the ENT guys use Afrin-soaked gauze for tonsillectomy bleeding. I'd also forgotten that I learned about that during an ED rotation in school.

Sometimes I wonder what the hell I went to school *for*, if I can't even deal with my own blood. Sheesh.

Anyhow. My throat looks like somebody set a freaking bomb off in there, and feels not too much better than if somebody had. Swallowing is a challenge; eating and drinking almost out of the question. Something tells me I'm going to be very, vewwy quiet for the next few days.

Keep up the good thoughts, prayers, and kharma deliveries, Peeps. We've got at least a week before we know which port the Cap'n hailed from.