Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nana's Believe it or Not

You see a picture of South America and you ask yourself, "What is Trish doing with that map?"

Well, folks, I have a port wine hemangioma (birthmark). It is on my chest and when I was a little girl my parents took me to the doctor and asked about it. The doctor said that it would go away. Bless his heart. He must have been at the bottom of his class. A strawberry birthmark usually goes away, but port wine birthmarks usually don't. Mine is the shape of South America. No kidding. Stay with me. This is an educational post.

I tried to take a picture of my birthmark and I couldn't get it on the post. Maybe that's a good thing that it didn't work. Here's why this is an educational post. All my life I have had this lovely birthmark in the shape of South America. As a child it didn't bother me, but when I got in junior high people starting saying it looked like a hickey. Yes, folks right on my chest I have this natural tatoo. When I started working at the hospital a little over twenty years ago I decided to have plastic surgery and have it removed. The doctor told me that the laser system would remove it and I would be free of it.

I had the surgery on a Friday afternoon and I was the last patient. When I went for my follow up I found that I had been his last patient ever at that hospital. Yes, he moved on to another facility and he hurried through my procedure just to get it over with. I had deep burns and it looks worse now than it did before the surgery. Now I not only have the birthmark, but I have deep red burn scars from the laser. Months later I still was going for shots directly in the area to relieve the pain.

I used to tell kids that my father got mixed up with some mysterious people from way south of the border and a woman put a curse on him. It eventually showed up on me. Yes, I had an imagination. But I was so excited about it being removed. Don't ever let someone set you up for the last OR slot of the day. The doctor is tired and who knows, it may be his last day of work.

You ask, "Why didn't you sue?" Remember I told you earlier in the story that I was employed by the hospital. It would not have been very wise to try and sue my employer. I also wasn't in a place financially when I was divorced to sue anyone. My one and only experience with plastic surgery was not very pleasant. I titled this 'believe it or not' because it sounds bizarre, but it's true. I can't wear anything low cut or I find people staring at my birthmark. I wouldn't wear anything very low anyway, but going years with people in the stores turning and whispering to their friends and then the friends looking back at my chest has made me self-conscious.

I shouldn't whine about this. Plenty of other people have much worse than a birthmark, but I just wanted to share so none of you would put so much faith in some of these procedures.

P.S. What do they call a doctor that was at the very bottom of his class?
Answer: A doctor


Barb said...

Wow,that's scary that a doctor can get away with that...Barb

Anonymous said...

Oh that just stinks.

Hey, I wanted to tell you-your blog isn't linked through your profile so when you leave a comment I can't get to your blog from your comment. Probably go under settings and set it to link up?

Betsy said...

Well, that is too bad. I'm glad it's able to be covered up with your clothes. I saw a lady not too long ago with one on her cheek. No chance of someone else taking a second look at it? They repair scars from burn victims..just a thought.

Our Spencer has a little one on his forehead as a baby. That's how people itentified him from his brothers. As he grew older, it moved more into his scalp area. But for a while, when I'd drop him off at the church nursery, I'd say "Spencer is the one with the spot!" LOL

Anonymous said...

Nope...still doesn't show up on your profile. I hope you get it fixed!!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Trish!

What an incredible story! Who would have thought?? There are so many sad stories of plastic surgery gone wrong. You had to be in so much pain! I'm so sorry that happened to you. Thanks for sharing such a painful experience with us to educate us. I think that's partly what blogging is all about. You're

Big hugs, sherry

ChaChaneen said...

what a bummer indeed my friend. Your sense of humor about it mAkes me think of africa in a whole new way. Lol

steviewren said...

That is certainly a scary cautionary tale. I'm glad you weren't have open heart surgery!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I thought you were off to South America when I saw the map...but carry a map with you all the time. Sorry about the surgery gone wrong...but thankfully your 'map' can be covered. Glad you have a sense of humour about it all.

a woman who is said...

Hey Trish, lets hop on over to Montana and crash Dusty and Chris's party??? :)