Yes, it hurts.

How many extra strength Tylenol can one take? That is the question on my mind right now. I had another re-excision today. It is very similar to the one that I had a year ago. The scar will look the same, just on another part of my body. I’ve got 5 internal stitches and 6 external this time. It doesn’t take that long. I happened to go over my lunch today. I came back to work and went home around 4 pm. Sometime later is when the lidocaine wore off. I like lidocaine. It makes all of this a lot easier. At every excision location I feel “a pinch and a burn” as my dermatologist numbs me up each time. When it wears off, it’s not a big deal and isn’t noticeable when it’s something small. After several stitches? You feel it wear off. It’s not super painful, just an uncomfortable dull ache.

My “wound” is pressure packed and I won’t see it until tomorrow. Sleeping tonight might not be the most comfortable. But life goes on. I’ll heal up as usual. But this time around, I at least have an easier location. It’s on my abdomen so I can see it. I’m relieved that I don’t have to do contortions to bandage something on my back. My stitches will be in until the 11th. So there are lots of band-aids and bacitracin in my future.




I had to do something to move that hideous picture of my blister thing down the page. So here’s a photo that I took of the wildflowers while playing golf at Pole Creek in Tabernash, Colorado.

Freeze it?

I had my semi-annual skin scan yesterday. I only had 2 moles removed this time. That’s almost a record low. They’re both in places I can reach, so the bandaging is not an issue. There was a new nurse this time and he seemed concerned that I didn’t have someone to help me with the one on my back. Ha! I’ve had them in much, much, harder to reach places than this! I don’t even have to be in some weird contortion to reach this one.

So while I was having my scan, my doctor asked me about another spot near my knee. It’s scar tissue that has developed from a bug bite or an ingrown hair. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it was a bug bite gone bad. It’s just a spot with hard tissue underneath the skin. It actually looks like a bug bite that never goes away. “Do you want me to get rid of that?,” she asks. “What? You can get rid of it?” So of course I’m going to take the chance to get rid of it…

After my 2 moles were removed, she used an air gun type thing that must have had nitrogen or some other gas that can freeze these things off. Getting the moles lopped off is a piece of cake. This, was painful enough to be uncomfortable. It didn’t hurt so bad that I wanted to cry or anything. But it was more painful than the mole removal. By the end of the day, the spot had turned into a big blister. I’m sure I shouldn’t pop it. But I was concerned that it might pop in my sleep. It must have gotten a little hole this morning, so it drained quite a bit. Then that hole healed and now it’s full again. It looks like a weird little bubble on the side of my leg. I originally wasn’t going to post a photo, but I’ve probably made you curious. It’s not super bad. It’s just weird. And in the interest of educating anyone that is having this done. I’ll share…


I think the blister is a little bigger tonight. My skin has probably stretched. Once it drains, it should just smooth out and be normal again. Hopefully I didn’t completely gross you out. If you do have some scar tissue that is like a bump on your skin, it’s nice to know that something can be done about it at least.

In the water

Awhile back I wrote about my new endeavor. Lap swimming. Since I wrote that post, I’ve learned a little bit. For instance, 33 laps is a mile. And those Olympic swimmers make it look oh so easy. But it most certainly is not.

When I go, my goal is to swim a mile. At first it took me quite a long time. Maybe an hour and 20 minutes at the first go around? But then again, I was kind of putzy and didn’t have a routine figured out. Today I did a mile in about an hour. When you think about 1 mile per hour it certainly doesn’t sound fast. I’ve done a mile six times so far. I had a brief hiatus while in Colorado. But my golfing muscles got a work-out there… It’s fun to see an improvement in my time and in how I feel. Today I was able to do the breaststroke for 15 of the 36 laps that I did. I’ve been trying to do as much breaststroke as possible. It burns more energy than side stroke or elementary backstroke. I can actually keep a decent pace and don’t have to hang on the wall to catch my breath. I was quite excited to do 12 laps of breaststroke in a row today.

You really have to concentrate when you swim. Paying attention to your form on each stroke helps you to go faster (or slower) and time your breathing right. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to count to 33, but it’s easy to lose track. So I make a point to do 2 laps of each stroke and count them in groups of five. Once I get to 10 laps, I start over. I can’t really zone out when I’m swimming, so it’s good to have to focus on what I’m doing in the moment. There isn’t really time to think about other things. It’s possible that as I get better this will change. But for now, I’m focussed on the swimming.

I’m not a morning exerciser. But I’m happy to say that yesterday I was in the pool at 6:55 am. I knew that if I was going to get my swimming in before they started lessons, I had to go early. And guess what? I can handle morning swimming. But when school starts, the pool doesn’t open early enough for me to do it. So it will have to be an after school gig for me. That’s fine. Because when I’m done with my 33 laps, I don’t necessarily feel like quitting. Swimming makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong and fit – even if I have a long ways to go to both of those adjectives.

Another thing I’ve learned is about sharing a lane. I’ve had to do that the last couple of days. Yesterday I shared with a woman who used to swim competitively. I found that out today when I talked to her. She was doing the flip turns, freestyle and even the butterfly! I was just the rookie trying to not get in her way. Today I shared a lane with an older lady. She pretty much used a kick board or did the doggie paddle up and down the pool. I looked like an Olympian next to her. I’ll admit it’s easier when you’re next to the inexperienced swimmer. But then again, when you’re next to a good one, it does push you to keep going and get better.

But when I do get out of the pool, I’m spent. Today I had to go and get a one-piece swimsuit. Why? I’m so tired when I’m done, I’m afraid that my tankini top will get stuck on my shoulders when I’m trying to get it off in the shower. Yes, you should laugh at that. My arms are tired and a wet suit is hard to maneuver. So at least I have some options now… Oh, and when I’m done, I’m famished. I am so hungry! And feel like I’ve gotten a great physical workout!

I’m rather bummed that I’ll have to take another break from the swimming. On Monday I have my semi-annual skin scan. Chances are I’ll have a few moles lopped off. So I’ll have to heal up before I can go back. But I am excited to see what it will be like to add swimming as a regular part of my routine.

I know that I know you…

But I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong name. I actually have a guess of what your name is in the back of my mind. But I’ve had over 2500 students and the odds of me getting it right are getting smaller and smaller as the number of you gets bigger and bigger.

I remember that you were a good math student. You were enjoyable to have in class and joked around with me. You were a hockey player. I’m pretty sure your name is Ben, but I’m afraid to ask. I’m going swimming later today so I don’t have any make-up on and I’m not quite in the same aisle as you so I’m not sure if you recognize me. I’m not sure if you’d want to talk to me. So, I keep shopping and wracking my brain to figure out your name.

I go about the rest of my day, all the time, wrestling with who you are. Finally, after several hours, I dig out my old yearbooks and try to make a guess at how long ago you were in my class. Twelve years ago. It was even further back than my original guess. I had your name right. I know I had everything else that I remembered about your right too.

I should have said hello. Now I regret that I didn’t take the initiative. It looks like you turned out just fine. I’m always glad to see that. I just wish you knew that your teachers are always happy to see you succeed into adulthood.

So, dear reader, if you do see any of your former teachers, don’t be afraid to talk to them. They probably want to talk to you and find out what you’re doing. Always introduce yourself and don’t make them guess your name. Chances are they remember the important things about you and have many names floating around in their heads. We’re all getting older and when we’ve been teaching this long, we’ve had thousands of students. Give us a little help. It’s nice to see how you turned out!

Climbing the Walls


It looks like Jack got a bit creative over summer vacation. Now little sister is trying to do it too…

Summer in Winter


Winter Park, that is.

I was on a brief hiatus from writing while vacationing in Colorado this past week. I go there every summer to visit friends. This time we spent both weekends in Winter Park and the week in between at their house, outside of Denver.

The first weekend there was a rock festival in Winter Park. My friend’s brother works for the company that does the staging and he got us VIP passes to go backstage. During the afternoon we heard Dave Mason, and The Outlaws. The “head-liner” was this guy…


I didn’t really listen to Poison back in the day.  But I at least can recognize Bret Michaels and a few of the songs: Nothin’ But a Good Time, Unskinny Bop, Every Rose has its Thorn, Talk Dirty To Me, Something to Believe In, Your Mama Don’t Dance, Rock and Roll all Nite, … and that about covers it. He only played for a little over an hour.


Sitting outside on a beautiful summer mountain day is always great! Adding a concert in the park is just a little bonus. 🙂