Change is one of those frightening things we all struggle with. Creatures of habit, we humans like things to stay more or less the same. Even if we don’t like the way things are, we prefer the comfort of knowing and understanding to the prospect of having to adapt to something new.
There’s this tiny bump on my arm. It’s just above the elbow. It’s so small you couldn’t even call it pea-sized.
I thought it was an ingrown hair or other gross skin thing.
But it didn’t go away. And I can’t fix it. And it’s hard.
My doctor wants to remove it, because it goes beneath the surface of the skin. It’s so small, he doesn’t want to take a sample, because there isn’t enough to get. It’s probably nothing. But, you know, we should excise it just in case.
I should really be worried about cancer. Lumps aren’t supposed to appear on your skin. But the prospect of cancer isn’t what’s worrying me.
The doctor wants to carve a hunk off my arm.
He assures me this will have no impact on my range of motion. The thing is so small it shouldn’t be any kind of big deal.
But I’m left-handed, and it’s on my left arm.
What if does change things? What if my arm is just a little tighter? What if, by losing maybe an inch of skin, I’m not the same person anymore?
I mean, I might not be able to pitch like Tom Seaver or pass like Joe Montana anymore. Forget that I never could pitch or pass like those guys, what if this extremely minor surgery prevents me from ever being able to learn?
I’m not so much afraid of the pain. They’ll give me a local anesthesia and some post-op painkillers. I’ve been injured numerous times in my life, and I’m a black belt. However much it’s going to hurt doesn’t scare me.
But the doctor is planning to carve a hunk off my arm. He’s going to take the me I’ve known for 45 years and change it. What if I’m not the same?
By the time you read this, the bump on my arm will be gone. I’ll be home and going on with my day, probably like nothing really happened. All of this is likely to be very insignificant.
But I might be different, even only a little bit. I might be changed.
That scares me.