I've had a small lump on the back of my neck for a while now, the last time I had a diabetes check-up I mentioned it to the doctor who took a look and said it wasn't anything to be worried about, called it a sebaceous cyst. When I went to my chiropractor last month he noticed it whilst treating me and said "Have you had this for long?" and I told him about the doctor etc and we left it at that.
The weekend before last however something strange happened, the lump began to get larger and larger, so much so that whenever I turned over in bed it woke me up. Anyway I tried to make an appointment to see my doctor but she's on holiday so I saw another doctor who it turns out is the one doctor in the surgery I have seen more times than any other - how strange is that? I sat down in his consulting room, explained the reason for my visit and he stood up and walked around the back of me.
"It's huge! I've never seen one that big". - Okay this is where the nudge, nudge, wink, wink - what about the lump jokes end!
"I've got one on the back of my head, here have a feel".
So there we were like a couple of public schoolboys feeling each other's bumps in the dorm, "I'll just get my ruler," he said - as if this wasn't surreal enough - "don't worry I'm not going to hit you, I want to measure it".
He took the measurements, 6.5 cm long by 5 cm high, that doesn't include the height it is raised to off my neck, now if you plot out those measurements on a piece of scrap paper it is quite scary. He then tapped into his computer and explained the process for arranging a visit to see a specialist, "We need to get you to the guys in surgery as quick as possible - let them decide the best course of action".
The next bit shows how much the NHS has changed at doctor level from treatment to referral, he printed out three sheets of paper, these contained details of the two hospitals in my NHS Trust area who deal with this type of surgery, my NHS patient number and a password, I was then sent home to go online and make an appointment myself which I duly did. I now have an appointment a week on Tuesday just forty eight hours before I am due to travel to Paris, my only worry is that I will have surgery there and then and end up with one of those 'change dressings every twenty four hours' instructions which for somebody on their own who is still suffering from two 'frozen' shoulders will present a challenge.