A Different Kind of Adventure…

Standard

I was all ready to hit publish on this post and Mike, who thankfully is my editor said that it was boring and it needed more if I wanted to expand my audience.  “More what?” I asked. “Well you could start with some gross pictures!”  Read on…

I was a little scared

I was a little scared…

For the past 3 months I have been watching a ganglion cyst on my left wrist grow. As a gynecologist the wrist is pretty far from my specialty but I recognized the cyst and knew it was nothing dangerous. Nevertheless, a growth on the body is a bit disconcerting. It started the size of a small pea on my inner wrist and grew into a large lump that got in the way of my watch. It also hurt.

A Ganglion Cyst that looks just like mine (from google images) Stupidly I didn't think of taking a picture of mine until it was gone!

A Ganglion Cyst that looks just like mine (from google images) I didn’t think of taking a picture of mine until it was gone!

I had initially intended to just leave it alone until we got back to California but in the end it became too bothersome to ignore. As I moaned and groaned more and more Mike finally said, “Do you want me to be your doctor or do you want me to just continue to be an empathetic husband?” I finally agreed that if he could come up with a solution I would agree to be a compliant patient.

UnknownA ganglion cyst is a cyst of the tendon of the hand or foot. They are relatively common and when I showed it to 2 running friends in Spain they both told me that they each had also had one but in both cases the cysts had eventually gone away spontaneously. Doctors refer to ganglion cysts jokingly as “Bible cysts”. Years ago people would just smack them with the biggest book that they had around. Presumably they also said a little prayer and wham, the cyst was history. Mike had been offering to whack my cyst for months. We do have private medical insurance here so I could go to a Spanish doctor but I was willing to let Dr. Mike come up with a plan first. Like most patients of the 21st century we looked to Google for our ideas. First we found a hysterical website called “imperfectlyhealthy.com” that recommends that one eat red clay to dissolve the cysts.  No joke, I cut and pasted this from their website!

Is there a refund / guarantee if my cyst does not dissolve?
The clay is beautiful for all that it does for the body – and we are always hopeful that you will have the same results as many others – and be able to avoid surgery.  We are unable to refund open containers and there is no guarantee your ganglion cyst will dissolve. 

Red clay

Red clay. Encyclopedias are beautiful too!

We then found one guy who cured himself with an Ace Bandage and an eraser (or a “rubber” as our English friends say).

Bandage and an eraser

Bandage and an eraser

He placed an eraser (roughly the size of the cyst) over the cyst and then wrapped an Ace Bandage around his wrist. He was able to sleep with this contraption on his wrist and voila, in the morning his cyst was gone.  I wasn’t interested in eating any beautiful red clay so I borrowed an eraser from the girls and bought a wrist wrap from the local farmacia. Last night I placed the eraser over my growth and wrapped it as tightly as I could. I am not sure what the guy on the internet drugged himself with, but an eraser pressing on a tender cyst is hard to ignore.  I probably tolerated it for an hour before I took it off. In the morning Mike said he was disappointed that I couldn’t be more compliant and I agreed to move to plan B.  

We also read that we could aspirate my cyst…

ouch!

ouch!

Surgery, of course was also an option.

YIkes!

Yikes! Mike said gross pictures are popular…

...

eww! Are surgeons allowed to say that?  Yes, if they are on a year long vacation!

eww! Are surgeons allowed to say that? Yes, if they are on a year long vacation!

So what if Mike had never operated on the wrist before and we didn’t have a scalpel? We did have some non-sterile stuff and we could  buy some betadine and steri strips!

The Bible is looking better and better!

How hard could it be?                                       The Bible was looking better and better!

 I pressed on my bump all day hoping that I could just make it disappear with some gentle pressure but I only managed to make it more sore. By evening I was ready to be done.  Strangely, our apartment came with a set of Spanish Encyclopedias but no Bible. Mike selected “N” which was good sized.

Bye-bye cyst!

Bye-bye cyst!

We bent my wrist over the edge of an armchair. Savvy held my fingers down and I looked away. One quick smack and wow! It deflated. I wrapped it back in the Ace Bandage and as I type this blog it seems to be gone.  Thanks to my dear husband, the gynecologist with an encyclopedia, I am now cyst free.

And now since I paid to upgrade my blog to include videos here is a random Savvy video for your entertainment!

24 responses »

  1. I will be sure to get rid of any cysts before we arrive. Too many of those, you might be considered no longer on Sabbatical! about 3 weeks now…yay.

  2. Wow! Our office manager has two cysts on his head, I’ll see if he wants to try your approach, but maybe with a hammer and a piece of 2×4 instead of a book.
    Goyo

  3. Hi dear, That’s a very funny post with great pictures. I hope you don’t have to get smacked again. Love, mama

  4. To comment on your first pic: I hope you are not insinuating that Pugs are gross! I would be deeply offended!! Looking forward to having some more estrogen back in our clinic!!

    • Hi Alyson! No, the pug is cute! Notice that it says “I’m a little scared”. The pug is me! The other pictures are gross! Will be back soon! Les

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. I admire your courageous approach to it, and it worked! I will share this with one of our staff because she was turned down for the 2nd surgery of her ganglion cyst.

  6. I expected your tale to end in surgery with some unsterile instruments, not book whacking! Too funny! Glad your cyst is history!

  7. I rolled on the floor laughing!!!!! Brilliant! Mike, the GYN surgeon with an encyclopedia! When you come back, you need to make him a sign that says “Surgeon with encyclopedia”–BTW, that is how I got rid of my ganglion cyst, but we used the Webster’s Dictionary…=)

  8. Hi Leslie, that’s a great story and very useful too — I didn’t imagine that would work! You are a brave girl, but we knew that already.
    Eric and Ewa and Grampy

    • Hi Eric, Ewa, and Grampy,
      Thanks for sending a comment! I love getting comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I didn’t really think it would work either but Mike was so confident I had to try it. Love to all of you at 14 Colonsay! Leslie

  9. I rarely drop responses, however after browsing through some of the responses here A Different Kind of
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  10. Great story and i found it searching for a way to get rid of my cyst!! i am going to try the eraser and ace bandage tonight…but if that doesn’t work I will try the Bible!! Did it ever come back??

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. My cyst has come back. Sometimes it gets to be the size of a marble. Right now it is pea sized. Before I hit it with the encyclopedia it was really uncomfortable, now it is still there but it is small and it doesn’t bother me at all. PS: a glass of wine or two is not a bad idea if you are going to try the book! Also have your partner practice a few times first. My husband says that the trick is to not follow through with the swing. Good luck!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

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