Today’s Vocabulary Word

Today’s vocabulary word is “hemoclip.” A hemoclip is a metal clip, manufactured in various sizes, for the purpose of clamping off blood vessels. It has the advantage of being faster and easier than tying them off, (although I’m told they still do tie off some vessels).

This morning when I showed my metallic trophy from Solo Home Surgery to Dr. Futran, he said, “Oh, yeah, that’s a hemoclip.” As if it was a most ordinary thing. Which, I guess, it is for him, since he probably goes through a case of them a week. The one I have is pretty small, although there is a smaller size that they use “under the microscope.” He allowed as how I’m probably carrying more of them, and smiled as he said it. Apparently they sometimes come loose, and can work up through the skin. I wasn’t sure how I felt about having still more metallic bits in me. It did make me think back to that Chemistry class figure for how much the elements in the human body are worth, especially when he said the itty-bitty one in my hand probably cost $1 (titanium, y’know.). My “parts value” is higher than I realized, though I certainly hope it’s a long time before we’re selling me for parts.

The rest of the exam was straightforward. From his perspective, having last seen me some months ago, I’ve made a lot of progress, and my speech is much better. We did arrange for another appointment with Marie, queen of speech and swallowing. The doctor’s inspection of his handiwork, poking around my mouth and feeling my neck, elicited many positive noises. The one possible concern was a small bright spot on my CT scan from Tuesday, which he will be reviewing with his favorite radiologist. He said the guy who read it already sometimes “sees things”, implying that he makes note of things that aren’t actually a problem. When we were talking about my recent infection, he said that might account for the spot on the CT. In any case, he didn’t think it was anything to worry about, based on the location, and the nature of the spot on the film. So I’m not worrying about it. (He also didn’t feel anything when he was feeling my throat.)

I also told him that I’ve been getting some change in the feeling of my mouth and jaw, which may be nerves regenerating. He wasn’t surprised, and seemed to think that was right on time. (I describe the change as a “different kind of numb”, one where I have an improved sense of where things are in space, like where the edge of my tongue is relative to the base of my jaw.)

So I go back in three months. I hope to be swallowing by then, so I can have a coffee while I wait for the Doctor to get back from the OR. (Our appointment today was at 8am, which is way too early on my current sleeping schedule. Ugh.)