The Cyst-er: Emma’s Wrath

We last left my pal Rebecca cyst-er-less. Her future looked bright. She was back to being an only child – at least, she hoped. Although trembling from fear and adrenaline after the extraction, she was ready to shed her “hospital” gown and pull on her flannel shirt (which took a solid five minutes, thanks to the pain from the packing and the five-inch-thick gauze covering the wound).

Three Days Of Misery.

For three days, Rebecca wallowed, unable to shower, barely able to change her shirt. Her wound oozed the remains of Emma’s hideous sludge, wicked away by the packing lodged inside the wound. Headaches and facial twitches plagued her, thanks to the round of antibiotics to fully wipe her clean of Emma’s infection.

But It Was Worth It, Right?

Sleepless nights ensued – as they had during Emma’s final week of life. With the packing still tucked under Rebecca’s skin, motion was nearly impossible. Especially in the morning, after her whole right side had lost its feeling from a motionless night. Rebecca pushed on, though, looking forward to the day her doctor would remove the son-of-a-bench packing.

Finally Free.

She was the last appointment of the day.

Round two. Here we go.

Rebecca was stiffer than a corpse post-rigor mortis as she sat on the same table she had two days prior. The doctor came in and took one look at the bruised, angry skin that had once been Emma.

“It looks beautiful,” he said. Rebecca deflated, exhaling all of her anxiety. The nightmare was over.

But Was It Really?

The hole – more like Emma’s Eye – stared from her shoulder every day as she and her parents tried to dry the wound. Rebecca was convinced it was her cyst-er, spying on her for its next attack. Ten days after the packing was removed, the lump was back. It bubbled up around the lurking eye – like an angry spirit lingering in the dark recesses of that childhood closet you watched each night.

The Wrath Of Emma.

The skin around Emma’s eye bulged on Rebecca’s shoulder. It reddened and ached. Emma was back – she had to be. And poor Rebecca was losing her sanity with the thought of another extraction. It wasn’t exactly like visiting Disney World or the beach. The last thing she wanted was to have packing back in place for the holidays and even more antibiotics cruising through her system.


She removed the bandage to check the wound the Friday before Christmas – and the eye on her shoulder exploded. Think Mount Vesuvius – only rivers of pus instead of lava.

Cute – We Know.

For the next fifteen minutes, Rebecca and her (very patient and strong-stomached) parents stood in the bathroom, surrounded by mountains of goo-filled gauze and band-aid boxes, until the oozing slowed. But it wasn’t over yet. Peering from the weeping eye was the last of Emma: A white, worm-like piece of the cyst. With a gentle tug, Emma was gone, leaving a thin trail of blood behind on Rebecca’s back.

Only Child.

Rebecca has healed and Emma’s eye has scabbed over beautifully (with the exception of a major breakout – apparently, Rebecca is allergic to the glue on bandages). Emma seems to be gone for good – broken up and lost in a sea of trash somewhere on the west coast of Florida. Rebecca is thrilled to be an only child again – though, she will always miss her flow of dad jokes Emma brought.

I’m sure, though, she’ll find new, far painless inspiration for her puns.

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