Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hilton Head Island: cratered and tubed

 A great writer once observed that life is the process of turning baby smooth skin into scar tissue.  Well, I have a new one.  Or will when a blimp size bandage is removed from my left leg. 

I ventured to a local skin cancer clinic on Friday because of a cancerous growth on my left leg.  I found a very well run and very complex office with one M.D. and a seemingly endless number of nurses, physician’s assistants and office staff.  All cheerful and friendly and all moving a seemingly endless number of elderly patients from station to station.  

On Friday my diagnosis was confirmed and two other smaller suspects were removed and other spots frozen by a physician’s assistant.  A cancellation on Monday brought me back for removal of the squamous cell carcinoma on my leg and again I was moved efficiently along the assembly line.   Two of those who saw me commented that I must workout.  Two others asked if I had been in the military.  This has often been a common misconception, particularly among British and Commonwealth men my age or older.  I don’t know why.

Of workouts, I can’t for the next two weeks.  Maybe longer.  Anticipating this I did work out Sunday.

Sliced, diced, stapled and stitched, I was sent on my way to return in two weeks to have either the staples or stitches removed.  I don’t recall which.  And a week later to have the other removed.  I will then be able to introduce my new scar to the world.

Among the post-surgical instructions were not to smoke or drink for two weeks.  One out of two will have to do.  Tylenol and Motrin were recommended.  I took them, but I also made it a rare three glass night.  In combination they were effective.

Sailrite and Speedy Metals are very efficient.  Both the pipe berth track and tubes arrived yesterday, far more quickly than I expected.  

Close inspection of the lee cloths I brought up to wash revealed worn areas and two small tears, so I have decided to replace them.  They are not expensive.  $90 each from Defender.  I can afford that every nine years, though I expect the next will be my last.

I have work to do on GANNET.  Paint the rub rail.  Clean and paint the area under the removed pipe berth and cockpit.  Cut the track to length, drill mounting holes and paint it.  Paint the end of the tubes.  Only the forward few inches show when the pipe berths are in place.  But none of this is going to be done until I am able to perform requisite GANNET contortions.

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