My trademark’s gone!

One mole, three orbits, six stitches. Gone is the trademark on my right arm.

Bye bye moley trademark!

I grew up with it and lived wt curious stares for a gazillion times. It enlarged, changed tones, grew hair and had tiny little clones surrounding it. I remember pestering mom several times during my teenage years to have it remove. Then, being different wasn’t something I embraced. The moles weren’t part of my plan to look attractive or blend in well with my peers. It sure looked unpleasant. Imagine having a fly or mosquito-looking thing permanently attached to your arm. Mom used to convince me that it’s my “lucky charm”, that “even if my friends wanted it, they can’t have it.” I bought the idea.

Fast forward years later, several people have suggested that I should look into it. It didn’t really bother me much until I came down with mastitis recently and was referred to a general surgeon who immediately noticed it. He advised me that abnormal moles shouldn’t be kept, especially if they reside on arms and legs.

So I scheduled an appointment for a surgery to remove it and off I went nonchalantly to the hospital on a weekday morning. Aside from giving birth, I have neither stayed nor underwent any surgery in a hospital before. Thinking that it’s going to be a fuss-free procedure, I expected having it done in a jiffy…in the doctor’s clinic. Perhaps I could even sit up and chat with the doctor throughout. I didn’t even fast like they requested.

After changing into the “peekaboo” hospital gown, a nurse came into my room with a wheelchair. “Nurse, I can walk there myself, no need wheelchair la,” I told her. She explained that it’s “part of the procedure”. OK then. With a bruised ego, she wheeled me to the OT as I avoided eye contact with anyone who came across our path. I felt so…so…VULNERABLE.

Upon reaching the OT, I was asked to lie down on a bed that was waiting for me, and there I went again, being wheeled into the OT. For goodness sake, I can walk leh! Then, the show began.

Short of putting the general anaesthesia mask on me, everything else was very much movie-like. The OT was cold like a freezer and the lights were really bright. Nurses busied themselves with paperwork as I lied down there helplessly, feeling like an object. I imagined how other mummies who had to undergo C-sec felt. No wonder my second sister, who had her first C-sec when delivering her third child, described the experience as ‘eerie’. Indeed true. That moment reinforced my determination to have a natural delivery again should we be blessed with a second child – even if it means going through that horrifying post-birth pain from episiotomy and inflammed hammaerhoids. I really didn’t like what I felt.

The anaesthesia injection was painful. As Dr Colin started cutting the skin around my arm, he gave a live commentary – in his Malaysian-British campur accent – to his nurses: “Ahh, you must cut it wide…yes W-I-D-E like this.” OH. MY. GAWD. Then as he applied more pressure to my elephant-thick skin, I could feel some tugging sensation. Totally euwwww, believe me! Sensing my silence, Dr Colin asked, “Are you OK?” OK? Am I OK?! Of course NOT! I gulped, chuckled and pretended to be brave.

I turned my head to the opposite direction and wished for it to be over soon. Negative thoughts started flooding into my mind, as usual. What if something goes wrong and I die here? What if as Dr Colin uses me as a teaching object, he leaves a piece of metal in me? I should have asked Hubby to come along, shouldn’t I? What if they lose my next-of-kin emergency contact number? Who’s going to pick up Ewan at 5pm?

As Dr Colin stitched me up, he told his nurses: “You know, if you want to kill someone, 10cc of this (syringe) will do. But if it’s 0.5cc, it won’t work.” THANK YOU VERY MUCH, doctor….just what I need to know! Go ahead, continue on…

I was then wheeled into the recovery room and stayed there for a good 30 minutes before being wheeled (again!!) to my room. As soon as I reached my comfort zone, I took off my hospital gown and asked to be discharged as soon as possible. Although the whole procedure took less than 40 minutes, I missed feeling normal. The discharge process took almost two hours. I went back to my office after that.

The stitches are still on my arm now and expected to be removed when I go for my follow-up consultation next week. I’m recovering really well.

Do I miss my trademark? Yes a little! Do I still want to have more moles removed? No thank you.

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2 thoughts on “My trademark’s gone!

  1. Oh, you had surgery to remove your mole? I had a growing mole on my eyebrow too, and I had it removed last year. Sans surgery. They used a type of cashew nut cream and then scraped the mole off. Had to live with a dried up blackish patch for about 2 weeks and after that it was mole-free!

    1. joeyllhow

      Some of my friends and relatives also shared how easy it was to remove their moles. In my case, the doctor was afraid it was cancerous due to the nature of mole – it grew and had different tones. Thank goodness the results came out negative. I’m left with a prominent mark now, makes me look kinda “macho” 🙂

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