Saturday, May 11, 2013

Persistent Cyst Assist

 Many moons ago when I was in college, I noticed something at the base of my neck that I started calling my stress bump. It seemed to be more noticeable during times I was under more pressure, like finals. Gradually it just became part and parcel of my existence and I stopped thinking about it.

Fast forward a couple decades to Arizona, where I had been living for four or five years and just out of the blue, the stress bump got huge, irritated, and a pain in the neck. Went to the doctor's and found out I had a cyst. Some minor prep work and they were able to remove it in the office.

 Except a couple of years later I noticed I was getting my bump back. Went to the doctor's and they said a small bit obviously got left behind. It was still too small to be able to have any real chance of a successful removal, so let it sit. So it once again became part and parcel of my existence.

Flash forward again, this time I've been in Maine for about four or five years and it suddenly flares up again. I get an appointment to see a physician's assistant and he says "So you think you might have a cyst?" Fortunately he had nobody booked in the next time slot, so he was able to do the surgery right off. Though it did take him a lot longer than he thought it would, about an hour. And he said it was a BIG cyst.

Top photo is before going in. Second photo is two days after the operation. I had to wait 48 hours before I could get it wet (and remove the bandage.) The last shot is after the stitches were taken out.

In other back and body related items, I usually go in to a chiropractor once every month or two just for maintenance.  I was thinking I was overdue for a visit when I was hit with some nasty stomach virus that kept me out of polite company for most of a week. I wasn't wanting to have my body twisted while I was feeling that way, let alone what I might have done to the office, so I put it off. Then when I thought maybe it was safe to try again, the cyst hit. It was painful enough with me leaving it alone, so I was not going to have somebody stress it and reopen the wound. Finally with the stiches out more than a week ago I went in.

I have one particular spot that usually involves extra effort to get straightened. After a lot of effort to get other spots not usually troublesome, the bad one wasn't budging. The chiropractor was all but jumping up and down on top of me and getting nowhere. My muscles were too tensed up from all the recent stress on my system. The vibrating relaxation machines don't relax me 'cause they stir up all my phlegm and I end up coughing out a lung or two. So they tried fifteen minutes with electrodes attached. Still no luck. We're going to try again in two weeks after I've healed more and done some heat therapy on the area.

click on any photo for a closer, more disgusting look

Monday, May 6, 2013


 We don't have to travel the state to find signs of spring. The following pictures are ones I took Sunday on our property.

click on any picture to bring them up close

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May the Fourth (be with you)

Saturday was Star Wars Day as well as Free Comic Book Day. We didn't have any Star Wars shirts, so Carrie wore Hellboy and I wore one of my Meep shirts. Carrie normally works Saturday, but she asked for the day off so we could celebrate this important double holiday. She worked last year, thus we were even more keen to do it this year.

Since we planned to go to a couple of shops down in Portland, we figured we should combine some other things with the trip. We packed up the recyclables and headed for Freeport. The collection bin has a new paint job.
They USED to call this the Silver Bullet

 We also took advantage of the yard sales that lay in our path. Carrie got a few things, including one of the books on our Dick Francis list. I also bought a book, an old Lone Ranger hardcover for a buck.

Casablanca Comics, our first comics shop stop, was very crowded, with the line going out the store, down the hall, and down the stairs. While there I handed out Samurai Slate comics to the staff and Rick Parker, who was signing and drawing. I also picked up volume 5 of the Thunder Agents hard cover collection for less than half price. Carrie got a Casablanca bag autographed by 3 of the staff who were pictured on it.

Next stop was Coast City Comics, a store we'd not been to before. And one that didn't have dedicated parking, so we took a bit to find a spot and walked in. We got fewer free comics, but I still handed mine out. We also saw some interesting bricks, shopped at an Asian grocery store, and came across a book store we hadn't been to before. They seem to have a decent selection and a willingness for trade, so we'll be back. And I gave them a Samurai Slate.

 Carrie wanted to stop at the card shop in Brunswick we'd been to the first 2 times we were celebrating Free Comic Book Day. She remembered how they'd had a nice spread of food and we were past lunch time. Unfortunately, they weren't partaking this year. Not that they ever had a good selection of comics, but what they had out seemed even more feeble than before.

Still, it was a nice day out, and we very much enjoyed seeing all the signs of spring growing all around.

to enlarge any photo, just click on it
This is our combined haul from both stores.