Limpoma that is the good news…Let me explain the story of a fatty cyst on my arm and so on.
I found a little growth just above my elbow on the inside of my arm a couple of months ago. I continued to inspect it and wonder what it could be. The lump was not disappearing, so curiosity gave way to concern. I decided to ask the doctor, a nose and throat doctor, while being checked up on a cough. He said I should have it looked at. Hmmm… But who as we wanted to find some one good, we asked around in Tina’s hi-so ladies class. They always have a good recommendation for doctors no matter. They told us about Dr. Gon near one of their villages who was expert in this field. Soooo, just before leaving for Christmas in the US, I took one of my Thai friends to find this place way down our road.
Let me explain the clinic. We walked through the sliding glass door into an entry way with enough room for us to stand in front of the reception desk. From behind the secretary, Dr. Gon welcomed us back to his office…or little cubby.
I could barely close the door around me as I squeezed into the office next to his desk. His humble office did not diminish his ability to look at me. He asked the appropriate questions and inspected the lump on my arm. He decided it was a tumor on the lymph node, but since I didn’t have any other symptoms or growths on other lymph nodes, he said for me to come back in a month to see if there has been a change. I went home reminded of the email prayer request I received that morning about a friend of a friend who been diagnosed with lymphoma cancer (the end of her story was a miracle healing).
Understandably, I let my concern grow a little as my imagination ran with endless possibilities. Thai doctors are not as quick to eliminate any possibility of cancer like in America. Maybe the American doctor really wants his patients to have peace of mind, or maybe the American doctor wants to cover their backside from lawsuits…but I waited for the month to pass and return to Thailand for a follow up.
But as I took the taxi back to our apartment, I realized I didn’t pay any money for the check up or receive a bill. I asked my Thai friend, and he said the doctor didn’t do anything, so you don’t owe him any money. I told him in America, seeing a specialist would be very different and very expensive.
After returning to Bangkok, Dr. Gon checked me again confirming in his mind that it wouldn’t be anything malignant, reassuring me that it was benign. He scheduled a biopsy for two weeks later, but said I could get it cut out earlier if I wanted to go to the closer hospital. I just wouldn’t have him doing the surgery as he was booked for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t wait, so I went to the surgery unit at Ramkhamhaeng Hospital just around the corner.
The doctor looked at me the same as Dr. Gon saying it was 95 percent not cancer. Tina and I looked at each other and said, we like it to be 100 percent. Even though he recommended and insisted it was not necessary, and the only reason to remove them is for a problem aesthetically. We determined that we wanted to have it removed and the pathology done for our peace of mind.
He said, okay, and sent me to the O.R… Things move pretty quickly when you have the money to pay for them or insurance here in Thailand. They put me right in there and got me ready. My mind wondered as I pondered the procedure.
He had my arm getting prepped. The local anesthetic would numb the pain as he cut out the growth, but I would be lying awake just thinking about my arm open wide as he cut and cleaned it out. Then I had the shot of anesthetic three times to make sure the arm would stay numb. Eek… About five or 10 minutes later he finished and taped it shut. He let me feel the tumorous growth. It felt like a rubbery, squidlike little blob of fattiness called a limpoma.
One funny thing was when I asked him what was next, or what part of the procedure he was on as I couldn’t feel my arm and wasn’t sure how much more he had to do, he said, now is the time for my coffee break. Pause…and then he said just kidding, it is done. Just cleaning you up and getting you ready to go.
Just like that, I was an out of the hospital and back to my routine. A few days later, we went into the hospital to hear the result. The doctor saw us in the waiting area, and said come on in. He told us it was benign, and we had nothing to worry about.
We went back on Wednesday for the stitches to be removed. I’ll leave you with this fun note to get an idea of hospital expenses in Thailand. We had to pay for the medical equipment he used for the removal of stitches which came to 109 Thai baht, or roughly three dollars. Good thing we have insurance with no deductible.
My arm is healing up just fine despite being deformed by a small, unnoticeable scar. Turns out limpoma is pretty common in, and I may get more of these fatty cysts, but at least I know they aren’t cancerous. That is the good news; the bad news is that limpoma usually shows up in people during the middle aged years. At least I keep hearing that I look young.