Like many of you, I have been spending a lot more time at home than usual, due to the COVID-19 outbreaks that are sweeping through the world. This means many of us have to find new, creative ways to keep ourselves from going insane from boredom. In the past two weeks, I have kept my house way cleaner than usual, washed out my make-up brushes, taken a ton of baths and showers, and purchased concert tickets for October. Last night, after my third bath of the week, I decided to do a slight surgery on my leg. Before I get into that, I feel need to give a back story to help set the scene.
When I was in high school, I developed a cherry angioma on the back of my leg. A cherry angioma is a growth on the skin made up of blood vessels. This spot started out tiny and grew to be about the size of a coffee bean. Whenever I poked it with a pin or nicked it with a razor, it would bleed like crazy and take forever to stop. When I finally went to get it removed, months after it first appeared, the doctor gave me a shot in the leg to numb the area, cut off the angioma, and cauterized the spot to keep it from bleeding. This whole process probably took less than ten minutes.
(A standard looking cherry angioma)
A few years ago, I developed another one of these angiomas right above my ankle. This one was a lot smaller and didn’t bleed as much as the last one, so I was hoping it would just disappear. Over the past three years, it has stayed the size of a standard mole, but I still wanted it gone. I have made appointments at the doctor, only to cancel them because something came up. I have tried to convince my friends to cut it off. I have tried to burn it off using a lighter (I lasted about 1 second and don’t recommend this method). Finally, last night whilst in the tub, I decided I was getting rid of it once and for all.
I knew I had gauze and medical tape left over from my breast reduction to keep the bleeding contained, so there shouldn’t have been any issues. I grabbed my toenail clipper, lined it up with the spot, and clipped. And in that moment, I learned why the numbing shot was necessary with the first one. That little spot burned like hell! And the blood wasted no time oozing out. Now is probably a good time a mention that I bleed like a stuck pig. While holding a tissue to my wound, I realized I should have gotten my supplies ready before I clipped. Pressing the tissue to my leg, I awkwardly hobbled to the shelf that held all my first aid stuff. Pulling the tub down to the floor, all the while holding the tissue in place, I rifled through it to find the medical tape and the gauze. That was when I learned to always check to make sure you have the needed supplies if you’re going to do self-surgery. Surprise, surprise, I did not have gauze pads like I thought I did, and my tissue was running out of time.
(My first tissue right before throwing it away)
I wobbled back into the bathroom to clean the smeared blood off of my leg while I came up with a Plan B. I decided a cotton ball covered with medical tape should do the trick. I finished cleaning, grabbed a new tissue, and hobbled back to the shelf to grab the bag of cotton balls before sitting back on the floor. It was still bleeding pretty good, and was coming out faster than I anticipated.
(Close up of the wound after I cleaned my leg off)
Despite the blood and the feeling of lightheadedness I was getting, I managed to trade the tissue for a cotton ball and tape it down to hold it in place.
(My DIY medical bandage and the second tissue)
Feeling better about the entire situation, I went to bed. At about 2am, I woke up to a burning pain coming from my leg. Apparently, I had moved enough to knock my patch job loose, which enraged my little wound. I groggily stumbled to the bathroom and flipped on the light. When my eyes finally adjusted, I pulled the homemade bandage off, which hurt way worse than it should have. Pieces of the cotton ball were stuck to the wound and it was still bleeding, but not as bad. I slapped two standard band aids over it, and hoped for the best before going back to sleep.
(2am patch job) *pic taken when I got up this morning and not at 2am
When I woke up this morning, I peeled off the band aids to find the thing had finally stopped bleeding. I hopped in the shower, and the second the hot water stream hit my little spot, I let out a dramatic gasp of pain. The little thing burned so bad, I felt it halfway up my leg. I showered as fast as I could, and then dapped some rubbing alcohol on it, which also burned really badly. I’ve been keeping an eye on it throughout the day, and it seems to be healing quite well. Even though I learned a lot of important lessons and this probably wasn’t my smartest decision, I’d say my little quarantine surgery was a success! Here’s hoping the angioma doesn’t grow back!
(My wound now; it’s looking good!)