A Plague On Our House

We had an outbreak this week.  An outbreak of crazy. I'll start with this morning and work backwards:

Right now, I have a crater on my head.  I had a pyogenic granuloma removed from my forehead at 7:50 this morning.  DON'T GOOGLE THAT TERM!!!  The pictures are not for the faint of heart - er - stomach.  They occur in a small percentage of pregnant women, and evidently the granuloma gods have smiled upon me.  Thank you, sweet son of mine.

So everything's fine now; I've got my Bandaid and my neosporin and the crater will disappear soon enough.

But now that you know everything is okay, I can tell you about the 12 kinds of crazy that got us here.

I had this bump on my forehead that got a little out of hand.  When it became clear to me that it WASN'T going to go away on it's own, I called the dermatologist.  2 months later I had an appointment.

I intentionally did NO googling and spent NO time on WebMD - I didn't investigate even a little bit.  I didn't want to spend 2 months thinking I had necrotizing fasciitis, or had somehow contracted AIDS or something.  So the night before my appointment  I tiptoed into the living room and snuck on the computer to do a little search.  And you know what came up?  SKIN CANCER.  "Yes," my computer told me, "this bump on your head is skin cancer.  It can be nothing else."

I tiptoed back into the bedroom and unloaded this on my unsuspecting husband: that I just knew that it was skin cancer because I have such fair skin, and family members of mine (who are VERY CAREFUL about sun exposure) have had basal cell carcinomas removed - and that last summer I spent a lot of time outside in the baby pool with Madeline. "I'm Irish and pale and pregnant and I HAVE SKIN CANCER!!!!"

He told me he was taking away my computer, and to get some sleep before my appointment.

The next morning, the dermatologist walked in, lifted my bangs, looked at my bump and we had this little dialogue:

"Do you have a tanning habit?"


"Well, this looks like a keratoacanthoma (don't google that, either), which is a low-grade form of skin cancer. I'm going to take a biopsy and rush the results for you."

So he did, and it hurt.  Then in the middle of the biopsy he said off-handedly, "Well, since it is bleeding an awful lot (awesome), and since you are pregnant (double awesome), it might also be a pyogenic granuloma, although that's not really what it looks like."

So I drove home with my first stitch ever, sure that I had skin cancer.  I googled Keratoacarthanoma when I got home - and within a few minutes had convinced myself that I was one of the 6% of cases in which the KA affects deeper tissue and spreads to your lymph nodes.  Because that's only logical.

Then Dan took away my computer.

The next morning, as we were waiting to hear back from pathology, Madeline woke up COVERED IN FINE RED DOTS - all over her face and neck and shoulders.

"WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS HOUSE!?!?!?  Dan!  Do you have any mystery bumps?  Moles? Rashes? Bleeding sores I should be aware of?"

"Well, I did wake up this morning without an arm.  I think it's leprosy."


"NO, KATE.  I'll call the school - you call the pediatrician."  Ever the voice of reason in this home.

So we're calling the teacher, the vision teacher (who was OF COURSE scheduled to come that day), the pediatrician, my dermatologist, and the vet too, since Jasper was about to develop a bad case of the scabies just so he wouldn't feel left out.

Then, mercifully, the planets realigned and everything started falling back into place.  Pathology called: benign bump - just an unsightly, inconvenient granuloma.  Madeline was examined by a doctor without screaming for the first time in her three-and-a-half years of life.  He prescribed some hydrocortisone cream and sent us on our way.  She's only a little bit puffy-eyed today, and no longer looks like she has the measles.

I had my granuloma removed early this morning - the cauterization was only a little bit traumatic.  I will have a pretty decent scar - no way around it, but at least it's well-concealed on my hairline.  (Dan said I should just be grateful that my hairline isn't receding.  A dose of perspective.)

And Dan does not have leprosy. Neither does Jasper have scabies.

Crisis averted.