He is skeptical that I will be able to withstand an in-the-office procedure.
I cock my head at him, give him the ol’ Spaniel eyes. “But we’re already here,” I say. “Willie won’t have another vacation day until January. “
The doctor, a tall man with slender, pale fingers and the endearingly whimsical name of “Tor”, probes the edges of the lipoma. Just under the skin of my right shoulder and the length and breadth of a medium-sized plum, the tumor moves slightly.
“How are you with pain?”
I shrug. “I can take it or leave it.”
He smiles. “But you bear it well?”
I sit up straighter. “Are you saying that you’re out of Novocaine?”
“No, no,” he says. “But there won’t be anything else.”
I look around the spare, clean room. “You really should have some gas in here. It’s all the rage with the dentists, you know.”
He smiles. “So we’ll do the procedure, ja?”
“Let’s do it,” I say.
Several shots of local anesthetic later, he begins to cut. The tugging at my right shoulder is noticeable, but I’ve been married over 10 years.
There’s nothing I can’t ignore.
“Do you know how drunk I’d have to be to do this without some sort of numbing agent?” I am reclined, settled into something of a medical La-Z-Boy, the top of my right shoulder bare. The doctor is standing behind me. I can feel him smile.
“Maybe a little for you, a little for the wound,” he says.
“I spent last week in New Orleans,” I say into the air. “Three words: Civil War amputations.”
“Ah!” he says. “Horrible conditions. Just horrible.”
I feel the tugging at my shoulder. “50,000 amputations in four years,” I say.
There is silence.
“Modern medicine is a wonderful thing,” the doctor says.
I nod, careful to move nothing but my head. “Yep,” I say. “It’s a great time to be alive.”