Brave Soldier Rewards

My sister, Melissa, and I always like to reward ourselves with something after a doctor’s appointment.  Yes, I realize we are in our 30’s, but doctors were on to something when they’d give you a sucker & a sticker after an appointment.  I actually went from fifth grade thru the middle of college – about ten years – without being stuck with any needles.  I have always had a healthy fear of shots and was able to avoid them entirely for about ten years.  How did I get in college without having my shots updated, you may ask.  Well, I signed the personal exemption form, of course!  I agreed that if the campus was overtaken with an outbreak of measles, mumps, etc., I’d leave campus and not return until the outbreak was over or my shots were administered.  Piece of cake!  And lucky for me, Louisiana Tech remained outbreak free during my years there!  I’ve gotten much braver over the past several years and have had many shots and even an IV or two.  But I will always buy myself a brave soldier reward.  I find it necessary for morale.

A couple of months ago I went to the dermatologist for a sun spot on my stomach, but while I was there, I had her go ahead & look at a mole on my arm, too.  The sun spot was nothing to worry about, but she decided to remove the mole since it was darker than all my other moles.  They sent it for a biopsy and contacted me a couple of weeks later to tell me that it was not cancer, but it “broke some rules” that the pathologist looks for when doing these biopsies, so they wanted me to come back in so they could go a bit deeper and remove the mole at the root.  (I may be using incorrect terminology here, but you get the idea.)

My appointment for them to remove the rest of the mole was Monday morning.  I assumed they’d do the same type of procedure – numb that area of my arm with a shot, use the little scooper to scoop out a little bit extra, slap a bandaid on my arm, and send me on my way.  I thought the whole thing would take about five minutes.  Nope!  I was given a consent form to read and sign for my pending surgical procedure.  I had no idea it would be considered a surgical procedure, but okay!  The whole procedure took probably about thirty or forty minutes, it seemed.  I reclined in their super comfy chair – I want one of these chairs in my house – with a pillow behind my head.  I felt a few of the initial sticks when Dr. Lewis was numbing my arm, and after that I just felt some pressure here and there throughout the procedure.  I looked in the opposite direction and once made the mistake of looking straight ahead, but when I saw Dr. Lewis sewing the stitches into my arm in my peripheral vision, I quickly turned away again.  It was not at all painful.  I just listened and laughed as Dr. Lewis and the nurse talked about roller coasters and airline flights.  They were very entertaining to listen to.

Once the procedure was over, the nurse put some thick gauze on my arm and secured it down with tape.  I was given instructions on wound care, rescheduled to come back in two weeks for the stitches to be removed, and sent on my way.

I drove to Walgreens to pick up some waterproof bandaids and then went through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru for my brave soldier reward before heading to work.  I ordered a (free) large sweet tea with my Chick-fil-A cowlendar card and I splurged for a 4-count order of Chicken Minis.  Yum!  It was a lovely brave soldier reward.

Fast forward to the next morning when 24 hours had passed and I could remove the bandage from my arm.  WOW!  This is my first experience with stitches and I assumed I had three or four.  It’s more like ten or twelve.  I knew I had been brave, but I had no idea I had been that brave!  I am pretty impressed with myself!  And with Dr. Lewis, I might add.  It’s amazing to me that my bruised, stitched up arm was so pain free!  Even now, days later, the only pain I’ve had is if I’ve accidentally bumped into something.  Otherwise, no pain.  If any of my friends live in this area and are looking for a dermatologist, I highly recommend Dr. Lewis.  She’s great.  But anyway, back to my bravery.  I’m thinking I may need to go retroactive on my brave soldier reward.  Chicken Minis are an acceptable brave soldier reward if I have to get a shot.  One shot.  Multiple shots call for a bonus sometimes.  But I just survived surgery!  Yes, it was a very tolerable surgery where I stayed completely content, amused by the conversation going on in the room, and lucid the entire time, but I have up to a dozen stitches in my arm right now!  On the brave soldier reward scale, this falls into “new jeans” category!  So yeah, a little retroactivity may be necessary here.  I told this theory to my friend, Janie, and she said if I ever have children, my poor husband is going to have to go into debt to finance that brave soldier reward.  Indeed.  No, no, that goes against everything I believe in.  No debt required.  But he should start saving immediately upon marriage, just in case.  Because I don’t think you can get much braver than birthing a child.  I’m all for adoption!

I’ll spare you the photograph of my stitches on this post.  Only those of you who I’ve already tortured via text message will have to see it.  But yeah, I have to say … I am so stinking brave!  Bring on the new jeans!

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