You can find them in your face, your hands & feet, your back and even down south where the sun doesn’t shine. They can spread. They’re unsightly – looking like cauliflowers or blisters or even moles. Well, these dermatological tumours are called…….. VIRAL WARTS …… you might as well call them ‘worry warts’ given the type of scare they can give you.
I really wouldn’t have paid much attention to it, if not for an infection to the ‘mole’ on my mum’s right cheek, which caused the surrounding area to swell to the size of a tomato! Panic stricken – The worst came to mind. Is it an abnormal facial mole? Is it a malignant growth? Aaargh….please don’t let it be melanoma or some sort of skin cancer.
After an agonising weekend wait, we managed to secure an appointment with a dermatologist Dr. Allan Yee (Hope Skin & Laser Centre) in Gleneagles on a Tuesday morning. Dr. Yee came highly recommended from a good friend JC who works at the hospital….
We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Doctor’s Clinic Suite….. no long queues (like in SJMC), the nursing & reception staff at the clinic were friendly & accommodating & the clinic had a happy feel to it. Why do I say that? Well, a large portion of patients were young & good looking…. so I suspect they were mainly there for cosmetic purposes….. beauty & appearance being the priority.
We were lucky, since the other patients had not arrived yet, the nurse was kind enough to slot us in to see the doctor during this vacuum period & we managed to see the doctor 45 mins before our appointment time!
Armed with the usual apprehension when you go in to see a doctor, all three of us, young & old trooped in! My mum immediately launched into a mini speech on ‘My Theory of How My Mole’s been growing over the years!’ & with my DAD in the background grunting his approvals & disaprovals of her theories….. it’d actually make a good comedy if the situation was not so grave!
Dr. Yee, with an amused look on his face proceeded to shine a light on my mom’s face ……… & declared confidently “Oh, they’re not moles. They’re WARTS!”. Nothing to it. We just need to scrape it off.” OK, now that was real anticlimatic to all the scares that were building in our minds over the past 36 hours prior to the appointment …so we pressed on….. “Oh -but the swelling, WHY doctor?!”…..He went on to explain patiently, “It’s normal, a lot of things could trigger a trauma to warts. Given its raised surface, you can hurt it while washing your face, or even when you are wiping it with a towel…….”
***(So now picture a balloon filled with this gas called ‘PARANOIA’ …..pricked with a needle & fizzling up & down the doctor’s room…)***
Phew! A sigh of relief from all quarters. So what happens next? The doctor said…”OH, I can perform the procedure today!”. Before we had time to absorb the statement, he was already asking the nurse to prep my mum for a “CURRETAGE & CAUTERY“ procedure!!!!!! Huh??? Greek – All Greek to me & my DAD ….. Feeling dumb, I asked, “Doctor, what’s that?” to which he replied, “Oh it’s a very simple procedure. We scrape the warts off (hence the word ‘curretage’) & then we burn the remaining surface tissue (cauterise)” …I acknowledged this new found knowledge with an “O.I.C!” (I read later that the cautery procedure is done to burn away any invasive cells leftover from the warts on the surface of the skin & to curb the bleeding somewhat…)
So, the sequence of events went pretty much like this
11.15 am. We went in for the appointment.
11.20 am. Mum was led off for ‘prep’.
11.45 am. Her face was lathered with painkiller cream. (Who would’ve thought things are so simple, no painful jabs, no local anesthetic either….interesting)
12.45 pm. She was led to the treatment room. & the door closed…. (my DAD managed to steal a glimpse inside & he said the Doc’s head was all geared up in an ASTRONAUT helmet…for the procedure. SHUCKS…. I missed that. Should have brought a camera!
1.00 pm. Procedure done. My mum had 5 warts -big & small, removed in 15 mins.
“Did it hurt?” I asked. My mum said….”Yeah, a bit!” She’s a tough gal. My dad said…”I’m SURE it hurt, look at how RED the wounds are…..!!!!” Hmmmph….talk about rubbing it in….but that’s how our parents show their love to each other….really!
By 1.30, we were done with the formalities & after a trip to the pharmacy, we were on our way to the carpark. We were poorer by RM620 but boy were we 3 Happy Troopers! …….& one of us with the potential to look really great during the Chinese New Year, wart free & all! The doc assured mum that she would be so satisfied with the results that she would return to him for more skin treatments to look beautiful! Ahahaha…. we shall see, we shall see!
So, …care for some VIRAL WARTS, anyone?
NONE FOR ME THANK YOU!!!!
P.S. Thanks Doctor Allan Yee, for a quick consultation & an efficient job done. Ever grateful to you & your ever friendly staff.
P.P.S If any one is interested in seeing him, he holds a clinic in Gleneagles Hospital, Jalan Ampang, KL. He is at Suite 618. Phone no. 03-42552930.
P.P.P.S. Thanks to JC for her recommendation too. Much appreciated.