i ate a tea egg before leaving for the cafe. it was a shelled one, and the saltiness level was just fine. instead of driving, i bike, despite the light snowfall (i didn't want to lose my parking spot). i got there a bit early just in case if i needed to do any shoveling, but the sidewalks were clean. from the webcam i could see my grand uncle was already up, and since my aunt already prepared his lunch, i decided to deliver it early (11:40am), maybe get to leave early in return.
while my grand uncle ate, i helped my sister remove some adwares that were secretly installed onto her macbook when she fell for a false flash update notice while she was digging around some torrent site. i should've warned her, i forgot. she was still sleeping even though it was already close to noontime. the malware wasn't too bad, they were visible in the apps folder, i just dragged them into the trash (not before they spit out a bunch of ads on the screen, one final gasp) and rebooted the machine. the only thing i'm concerned about is if invisible processes were installed and can't easily be removed without command lines. i asked my sister to keep a eye out for unwanted ads popping up on her mac.
i returned home by 12:30pm, but not before relaying the message to my aunt that if we are going to get a nor'easter next tuesday (as decided by my mother when i spoke to her last night), that she doesn't need to come to work, and that my sister will prepare breakfast-lunch-dinner for my grand uncle.
i took a quick shower, changed into some better clothes, then left the house by 1pm.
google map said it'd take me just 30 minutes to get to 50 staniford street, where the MGH dermatological department is located. my appointment was at 2pm, and i was told to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out forms, although i already filled them out beforehand because they sent them to me last week. but i figured i'd leave early, and they mosey my way down there, maybe having some extra time to take photos if i see anything noteworthy (i had my canon dSLR in my bag).
i don't think i've ever been to a dermatologist before, although something like 20 years ago, when i had my nevus removed, it was at the boston medical center, and that must've been done by a dermatologist. once i arrived at 50 staniford, it took me a while to figure out how to actually get upstairs. the elevator ride was a short one as well, only to the 2nd floor. i didn't know what to expect, but i certainly wasn't expecting so many people in the waiting room, all waiting to see dermatologists. i guess a lot of things can constitute skin diseases and conditions. there was a greeter at the door who saw my confused look and knew right away it was my first time visit, and pointed me to the check-in desk. a pretty blonde woman with red lipstick and dark wide-set eyes took my medical form and checked my id, before asking me to have a seat.
i got there at 1:30pm, and sat in the waiting room for over 30 minutes before my name was called. next time, i don't have to come so early. next time, bring a book; although i had ebooks loaded on my oneplus one phone, i didn't want to be like everybody else, glued to their devices. so i just sat there patiently and waited.
i was lead to the back, where there seemed to be a maze of examination rooms. nurse lisa took my information, asked me what was the reason for my visit (wart removal). she then put a gown on the exam table and started to walk out without saying anything. "should i do anything?" i asked her. for them it's so routine, sometimes they forget it might be your first time. "oh right, change into the gown, the doctor will be here shortly," she told me before leaving.
after changing, i sat on the exam table and waited for another 15 minutes. i stole a surgical marker as a souvenir of my visit. there was a canister of what i assumed was liquid nitrogen, but i didn't know how it worked, like maybe it had to be attached to some nozzle device. when the doctor finally came in, it was a young greek man. more often than not these days, the doctors i visit have all been younger than me. that's how you know you're old. anyway, he seemed to be a hurry, and i got the feeling for him this was all very routine and it'd be a quick in-out visit.
i showed him my wart, he told me he'd freeze it off, and asked if i wanted it done today, right now. i said sure, and he grabbed the canister i saw earlier from the table, asked if i was ready, and before i could reply, he blasted the wart with a jet of liquid nitrogen. it felt very cold at first, then it began to hurt. the doctor gave me no warning it'd be a painful procedure, but i'd already assumed it would be. "that'll wake you up," he commented. he did it a total of 4 times, and said i'd have to come back in 4 weeks to get a second treatment because my wart was on the large size. the liquid nitrogen might make the wart blister over, and then scab, and finally fall off. i looked at the wart, expecting it to be raw and bloody from the amount of pain i felt, but it looked the same.
i then asked him 3 more skin related questions. i asked about the growth on my right temple, where the nevus used to be. i noticed some new growth there, looks sort of warty, and asked him about it. he took a quick look, said it wasn't a wart, blurted out some scientific name as to what it was, said it's common with aging, benign growth, nothing to worry about. next i asked about the little growth on my left eyelid. he said it was a cyst, nothing to worry about as well, but if it does get any bigger, he could remove it by puncturing it with a needle (the idea of a needle so close to my eyeball sort of scares me). finally, i asked him about the itchy blisters i get every summer. i told him i've isolated to a cheap vinyl-plastic allergy. he said they could do a allergy matrix/panel, but MGH doesn't have anyone who does it, and the closest hospital that does have this service would be brigham general. he also prescribed a strong topical gel for my hands if the blisters should come back.
i left by 2:40pm. my original plan was this: go visit the nearby haymarket, then go to north station and take the commuter train back to porter square. i began walking, then realized haymarket is actually a bit farther than i expected. then i thought i'd skip haymarket (nothing i wanted anyway) and go directly to north station (i was actually closer to there than charles/MGH), but the next fitchburgh train wouldn't be until 3:30pm, and even if i walked down to charles i'd still be able to get home sooner. so in the end i decided to do just that.
i was expecting the snow to die down by 2pm, but here it was almost 3pm and the snow was falling even heavier than before. fortunately it still wasn't sticking to bare surfaces, but given enough time, it would eventually cool the ground enough so that it would stick. i secretly hoped it'd stop snowing soon. don't get me wrong, i find the snow very pretty, but i don't look forward to shoveling it.
there was a thin layer of snow on the sidewalk in front of my house that i easily cleared away when i got back. i also cleared the snow off the car. this was a relatively new experience for me as i don't own a car so typically would never be able to clear the snow off of one. fortunately there was a snow brush in the car. the snow looked like it was finally stopping around 4pm, but just as quickly it began to pick up to near white-out condition. on the news i saw it was a thin band of heavy snow that moving diagonally across the boston area. it did finally lighten up, i went out quickly to clean the sidewalk once again.
my roku streaming stick arrived earlier than expected (supposed to get here tomorrow). i plugged it in and downloaded a bunch of cable channels. i then used my parents' verizon FIOS cable account to activate all the channels, patching together a makeshift semblance of a cable broadcast. i can get my shows now, but unfortunately they all have commercials, just like a regular broadcast. one of the joys of downloading shows from torrent is the commercials have all been removed.
karen came home around 7pm while i was still busy setting up the roku. she made dinner first while chatting with her boyfriend. afterwards i made dinner - tuna fish sandwich. i let her try my flan, she said it was good. afterwards we watching an episode of chopped junior on the food network roku channel. karen called it in early, going to bed around 9:30pm.