February 24, 2016

I heard an interview with an older woman the other day in which she characterized growing older as a process of tinkering.. as in, as you age, you find yourself tinkering with your body to kind of keep it going well enough and strong enough to keep going.

It’s not like I’ve turned 60 and now all I can think about are the effects of aging on my body, but I will say it’s been an odd little run this past few months… a bit of this, and a bit of that and no good stretches where nothing is happening. It used to be that the prevailing condition was all systems free and clear and it was unusual if something was amiss. Lately, it’s been the other way around. I’m optimistic this is, as I said, a bit of an odd run. Planning to return to normal soon.

Dr. D said to me the other day that there’s this thing in the medical world called an incidental finding, where you go in to talk to your doctor about one thing and end up chasing down something else entirely, because a minor question leads to maybe a test, which turns up a thing that then has to be resolved, even if it wasn’t the original purpose for the visit. Happens all the time, she said.

[Maybe I talked about this already…. ugh… memory, you know.]


It was Jim’s turn today. (Close this tab now if pictures of scars and stitches creep you out.)


Jim had gone in to talk to his doctor about a thing on his chest, which was nothing, but, in the great tradition of incidental findings, his doctor found, removed and biopsied two things on his back. They, too, turned out to be nothing, but did require some follow up attention.

And now, enter me, the maven of wound care.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been managing the dressings and whatnot for the two holes on Jim’s back, which, if you know me, is way (way) out of my comfort zone. To my credit, I’ve handled my duties quite well.

Today we took wound care up a notch: today was stitch removal day. Two holes, four stitches….. TWENTY minutes. This was perhaps a new world record (in the slowest stitch removal by an amateur category). As I said, not my strong suit…plus, one of the stitches was slightly embedded beneath the skin. You can hardly blame me for 1) taking so long and 2) nearly passing out.

Well, not much more to say about this except: tinkering. I think we’ll be doing a lot more of it going forward. Also: we now have a suture removal kit and some experience under our belts which prepares us for future post-op wound care.

(Did I mention I have trigger thumb surgery on Friday?)





2 Responses to “Tinkering”

  1. Elliot Margolies Says:

    I’m even more squeamish than you described yourself. Could not have done any of that. Remember Annie Mitchell? She was leading a bunch of hikers – youth – in snow camping trip. One got a forehead gash. She used snow to freeze the area and sewed it up with needle and thread!

    • Kari Says:

      Very impressive. Sometimes being totally out of context, like in the wilderness, changes everything. (My experience is that dirt, bugs, discomfort, are all okay out there. So why not medical care?) We people are weird.

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