|I'll never be a hand model and I'm okay with that.|
If you know me IRL you may have noticed this blue, lumpy thing on my right hand. It looks like I've been in a smackdown- and as tough as that makes me look, I'm a lover not a fighter.
|Operation Hemangioma Removaloma|
I've had this hemangioma (basically a cluster of blood vessels) since birth and it never really bothered me. When I was about ten years old we looked into getting it removed but they told us there was a risk of nerve damage and to a right-handed little girl just starting art lessons, that was too scary.
The blue bulge has inspired many conversations over the years that look exactly like this:
"What happened to your hand?"
"Nothing it's a birthmark."
"But it looks like a bruise"
"Are you sure that wasn't there before? I've never noticed it"
"Yup it's always been there."
"But has it always been swollen like that?"
"I can show you baby photos, it looks exactly the same."
"But it's blue, with a red mark..."
"Does it hurt?"
"Can I touch it?"
Sometimes it takes even longer to convince the person that I'm REALLY sure I have had this exact birthmark. Since birth.
I went through a phase when I would playfully tell people I got into a fight but I got bored of that line.
It's always interesting to me to see if and when it gets noticed. Friends I've had for years will try and convince me that this must be new because they never noticed it before and sometimes strangers will pick it up immediately...I guess we all observe things differently.
For the last few years, the growth has started to hurt occasionally- when someone shakes my hand in just the wrong position or when I clumsily smack it against the kitchen bench.
Now that I'm an Australian resident with great health coverage I decided to see a hand specialist. She seemed really positive about the ease removal and expected it to come out without much risk. I had an ultrasound done so we could see how deep it went because that could affect the length of time needed in the operating room.
I felt excited about finally parting ways with the imperfection on my hand. I would be a liar if I said it never made me feel self conscious. I mean, who wants to walk around with a big bruise-y looking thingy on their dominant hand and have the same boring conversation about it over and over again? Superficial annoyances aside- this morning I whacked it against a corner and was reminded of the real reason I want it gone- pain.
When I got the results back from the ultrasound unfortunately they were worst case scenario- inconclusive. It appears that the cluster does seem to go down into some muscle tissue which means a longer surgery and a more difficult recovery.
I'll have to get an MRI so we can see exactly what we're dealing with. I had a feeling it would not be as simple as it initially sounded but I'm still hopeful.
Oddly I'm a little nostalgic about separating from my mini mountain. It's been with me always- My Mom used to tell me that it made my hand special, and I believed her.
When the hand surgeon warned me that I might have a little 'S' shaped scar I was like "awesome, any scar will be a huge improvement on bluey (I can't believe I never nicknamed it before now)."
I'm actually super excited at the thought of being able to see my knuckles. I just hope we are able get to that point someday soon. Special fingers crossed.
|It actually kind of hurt to do this. Outta my way lumpy!|