“You’re not frightened of blood, are you?” said the doctor.

“Ah, no. Why, how much will there be?”

“Oh, a little bit.”

I start to perspire. I take off my shirt and lay on the table in the treatment room.

“This is the worst part of the whole thing, you’ll just feel the needle going in. That’s so we can numb the area.”

I do feel the needle going in. I clench my teeth and try to hide my face so the dripping sweat can’t be seen. After a few needle pricks the doctor goes off to get some “tools” to perform the procedure.

I am here to get a cyst removed from my back. It’s been there for a while and is starting to grow. The doctor opens a bag of sterilised instruments and places them on the table.

It is supposed to be quick and only requires a local.

He opens another bag of sterilised instruments. And then a third.

How many instruments does he need? I would have thought a scalpel would have been enough.

“Can you feel that?”

I can’t see, but I think he has the knife against the cyst.

“Can’t feel a thing.”

And I can’t, but I can sense it. I can sense the knife cutting, digging in and around. The skin surrounding the cyst is suddenly tingling as if it’s reacting to the incision. He brow starts to sweat even more.

I can sense the cyst being held and pulled away from the body. Scissors come in and cut away the cyst. The skin flops back into place.

“There you go, it’s a beauty.”

The doctor shows me the marble sized cyst that he has removed. It is much bigger than I thought and it is dripping. I say goodbye to it.

As he opens another sterilised package he comments on the cost of dissolvable stitches of which he adds four into the wound to help close it up.

“They used to be made of cat gut, but now I don’t know what they’re made of. And they’re expensive.” he adds with emphasis. “This small packet here cost $10.”

“You could have bought a whole cat for that,” I add as he drives another stitch into the wound. He laughs. Don’t laugh I think. Just concentrate on what you are doing.

Six more external stitches later and he is finished.

“There you go. Leave the bandage on for a couple of days and then remove it to allow the wound to breath.”

Like hell,I think. I’m leaving it in at least a week before I’ll remove it.

My skin wakes in a couple of hours and then screams in pain all night. No amount of pain killers can sedate it. At about 5.00am in the morning, it feels it has made its point quite clear and it settles down.

I can say that no cats were injured in the writing of this entry.