Please be advised that the following entry contains subject matter of a graphic nature. If such things offend you, I advise against reading it.
I just returned from the doctor’s office and decided to continue the account of my current poor physical state. I realize that I just glossed over the fact that I’m sixty pounds overweight in the first part of this report. However, it must be noted that this is the most significant physical problem I now have. A few years ago, I had a physical and the doctor told me that my heart was abnormally large due to my excess weight. He said that if I continue to be overweight, I could risk having a stroke or a heart attack. So, I am well aware that this is the biggest problem I face now, physically speaking. However, there are many other physical maladies I suffer, some of which were mentioned in part one of this missive.
In part one, I got as low as my shoulders when talking about my physical problems. One of the issues I addressed was the dry scaling skin on the back of my ears and head. I stated that the doctor who gave me ointment for those two areas of my body said the ailments were not due to seborrheic dermatitis. The cream cleared up the condition, but it reoccurred sometime later and is currently present. Today, I saw another doctor. She told me that the condition is, in fact, seborrheic dermatitis and it is prone to reoccur when the climate changes. As the climate frequently changes here in Taiwan, being as unstable as any place I’ve ever been to, I can expect to have numerous episodes of the condition for as long as I live here. Lucky me!
The main reason I saw the dermatologist today was for a sore I have on my lower lip. I had thought the sore might be a cold sore, but I’ve had it for nearly two months. I told this to the doctor, and she said we should try some acyclovir. I told her that I’d been taking that internally and she suggested we try an ointment. If that doesn’t clear up the sore, she said I’ll have to have a biopsy. Why? Because it could be a pre-cancerous condition! I was alarmed when I heard that. Just this week, my mother had a biopsy of a lump on her nose. The test results aren’t in yet. She is worried, too, because her family has a history of skin cancer – especially on the nose. As for me, I don’t know what my “family history” is, because I was adopted.
There was also a lump in the middle of my chest that the doctor froze. She said she might have to do it again a couple of more times before the lump is gone. I asked her what the lump is and she said it is extra skin. She suspects it might be a viral wart because I told her I had it before in the same area and the doctor froze it off. When I asked her if there was any medication for it, she said to wait and see what happens on subsequent procedures. Her English was excellent, and I asked her if she had lived in another country before. She said that she had not. She learned English solely here in Taiwan.
Continuing with my very descriptive (and gross) account of my physical maladies (and deformities), I just thought of something that has developed recently. A few weeks ago, while taking a shower, I felt a small bump inside of my bellybutton. It is similar in size and touch to a skin tag. I almost brought this up to the doctor today, but I realized that she couldn’t reach it with the liquid nitrogen stick. It’s too deep inside my bellybutton.
I have stretch marks from my big belly, which occurred around the age of thirty-six. I had been overweight before and then lost it, but at thirty-six years old I ballooned. It was at that time when I developed back pain, too. There were a lot of mornings where the pain was so severe I couldn’t even take a breath. I could only sleep for four hours before having to get up from the bed and then sit in a reclining chair, so I could continue to sleep. Being in a horizontal position was a strain on my back, because of the extra fat on my midriff.
My hands have always been too small. I loved basketball when I was younger but was never able to play it. Besides being too slow and clumsy, I have short fat fingers. My wife says I have “sausage fingers.” It’s true.
In addition to my short and pudgy fingers, I recently have experienced ingrown fingernails. Years ago, my ex-wife told me that our son, Cameron, had trouble with ingrown nails. Because she had never experienced them or heard of anyone in her family who had, she said it must have come from my side. At the time, I had never had an ingrown nail and said she must be mistaken. Now, I know she was right, although she didn’t realize it at the time. My wife now tells me that it is due to how my fingernails and toenails are shaped. They’re squarer than most peoples’. Because of that, I take extra care in cutting them circular on the edges. Luckily, I haven’t had an ingrown fingernail since I began doing this. (I’ve never had an ingrown toenail.)
One physical thing I have that is passable is my penis. A girlfriend I had several years ago measured my dick while it was in an erect state. Measuring from the base to the tip, on top, it came to nearly eight inches. I believe that is an over-average length for a penis. The girth is about average, though. I’ve heard it said that girth is more important than length, so I have nothing to be proud of. Also, it’s not like I go around flaunting my hard-on in public, so nobody sees anything physically good about me.
Internally, it’s a different story, though. I have always had trouble urinating in a public restroom, at a urinal. I have what Albert Brooks referred to in a movie, “a shy bladder.” I find it almost impossible to pee when there is no divider between the urinal I am at and the one the guy next to me is using. I don’t know what causes this, but it’s not something I have control over. It’s subconscious. I remember as a missionary there was a time when I lived with three Brazilian missionaries. I’d be standing at the toilet, getting ready to pee, and they’d all come into the bathroom and stand around me, unzipping their pants and peeing. I found it impossible to go myself, in this situation. I wasn’t embarrassed or anything like that, I just couldn’t go. That condition has been with me for as long as I can remember. If I don’t have privacy, I can’t pee.
Speaking of peeing, within the past couple of years the actual stream I pee has reduced considerably in power. Whereas before I peed like a racehorse, I now just leak out urine. Robin Williams has a funny schtick about this where he uses a plastic bottle of water to demonstrate the difference in peeing as a youth and peeing as an old man. After seeing that standup, I realized I’m not the only one with this problem. What compounds the issue is that I’m peeing like a sprinkler now, with multiple streams coming out. Just a few years ago, I was peeing in one stable stream.
Another thing that accompanied this change is the condition where I can’t pee all at once unless I have to go bad. Some comes out, then it stops. Then, more comes out, it stops, and so on. It’s like that until I’m done. Before this, I would urinate all at once, and it was done. I think my visits to the bathroom are more frequent now than before, but I’m not sure. That’s just how it feels. On the other hand, my bowel movements are pretty regular. No problem in that area, yet.
I can’t comment on my backside, as I’ve never inspected it. I haven’t ever had problems with hemorrhoids, which is a miracle, considering how much time I spend sitting down. Someone once told me that I don’t have much of a butt. I think this is because my huge stomach distorts the perspective of my other body parts. I did have a small lump in my ass a few years ago, but it has disappeared. I can remember it being there ever since I dated my last girlfriend, which is funny because she had a small indentation on her butt in the same spot. Hmmm… I wonder if when my bump went away, her indentation went away also. I could email her about that, but I don’t think her husband would appreciate it. By the way, he wasn’t her husband at the time. They barely knew one another, being just coworkers. I must make it clear that I have never dated a married woman.
I had a birthmark on my left thigh when I was a child, but that has long since disappeared. I still have a small scar on my right thigh from when a dog bit me. The dog, a big black Labrador, was my Uncle Jay’s and was chained up on his farm. I made the mistake of trying to pet it when it was eating food. It instinctively took my advance as trying to steal its food, and it jumped at me, burying its fangs into my leg. It took a small teaspoon-sized chunk out of my leg. Now, it is barely noticeable, appearing as a small circle that is slightly lighter than the surrounding area.
My knees are okay, which is astonishing given the fact that they have to carry all my extra body weight. While in grade school, I fell on a sidewalk and scraped one of my knees. (I can’t remember which one.) A girl had been chasing me, trying to kiss me in a strange childish game. By the end of the day, my knee had blown up to the size of a football. My mother took me to the doctor. He took one look at it and said, “That boy’s got football knee.” He recommended letting the fluid out with by making a small incision in my knee, but I was adamantly against that. He gave my mother an alternative of having me wear a splint until my knee went down on its own, which she opted for. I remember the doctor saying that I’d probably have arthritis in my knee when I got old, because of the “football knee.” So, I have something to look forward to when I grow old as if I don’t have enough problems now!
My feet have the same problem as my hands; they’re too small. I am six feet two inches tall but wear only size ten shoes. There was a time when I fantasized about marrying a big tall African woman with large feet and hands. I wanted to have a basketball-playing child and thought that would be the best bet for accomplishing that. Although I stated I’ve never had a hang toenail (knock on wood), my toes are not the same as other peoples’. My big toes are larger than most peoples’. Also, the toes next to them, the piggies-that-stayed-home toes, are longer than all the other toes, including the big toes. Strange.
Another strange thing about my toes, actually just one of them, is an itchy area. On my left foot, there is a toe that frequently itches only on its left side. It’s the little-piggie-that-had-none toe. It hasn’t bugged me lately, but several years ago it was quite bothersome. At the time, I had a lovely pampering girlfriend. All I had to do was remove my shoes, say “the spot” and she would scratch the area on that single toe where it itched. Man, those were the days! Now, I just deal with it myself if it itches. As I stated, it hasn’t been a problem for a while.
For several years, I suffered periodically with what felt like a tightened muscle in the bottom of my right foot. I felt then that the muscle must have been shorter than the one on the left foot, for I didn’t have a problem with that foot. When I got felt those strains, I spent a lot of time stretching my foot, by using a curb, my car doorframe, or my hand. The tense feeling went away. Luckily, I haven’t felt that uncomfortable pain in years. I think it may be due to my lethargy now. If I were to be as active as I was back then, I feel the tightness might come back.
I don’t know how to conclude this weird two-part entry, except to say that for some reason I felt it was necessary. It goes toward the belief that I need to be an open book with this weblog. That was part of the intent when I began it, and it should continue to be an integral part of it as I add more entries. Hopefully, I can get all this gross stuff out of my system and write about other more uplifting things in the future. This kind of self-examination bums me out. I am truly a wreck, from head to toe.