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Let’s Play Doctor

So… how are things? Did you have a good Christmas? Good, good. How’s the family, good? Good, good. Okay, that’s enough about you, let’s talk about me and my problems now.

Our medical premiums went up about 25% in July of this year and beginning on Jan 1, they are going up another 25%. They’re using health care reform as an excuse, along with some gender equality act thing that they are taking advantage of by raising one of our premiums to “equal” the other, rather than lowering one of our premium to equal the other. Jerks.

I figure if I try to go to the doctor right now, my co-pay will be something on the order of twelve thousand dollars, so I figured I’d just save on medical bills and ask you. So, can you tell me what this thing on my hand is?


See that ball bearing embedded in my palm below my ring finger? What is that? I mean, WHAT IS THAT? It just showed up out of nowhere. It doesn’t hurt and it moves up and down when I move my ring finger.

My friend says it’s a ganglion (gan gleeon? gangly onn?) and that her sister had the same thing on her wrist.

But do YOU know what it is? And can I just bash it with a hammer? Or a bible like they did on that Doc Martin show? (BBC series, I totally recommend it, by the way).

So diagnose away, my friends. And as always, conspiracy theories are welcome.

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UPDATE (8/7/2012)

So, a couple months ago, I noticed that my cyst was getting smaller (with no bible thumping or anything!). Then the other day I looked at it again, and … it was completely gone! It went away all by itself. That never happens. Magic.


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  1. Sgxmas1 says:

    Well since people seem to still be commenting on this, and I found you during a Google search on Ganglion Cysts, I guess I’ll jump in, too!  Yay!  It seems common for them to show up on wrists, but I get them on the underside of my hand, like yours, and that’s what I searched.  Mine are usually closer to the base of my fingers, but my recent one was further down like yours.

    I have had a few of these.  The first one I got was really scary and bothersome – it did hurt a bit.  I noticed it when we were traveling and kept fiddling with it.  I went to move a heavy suitcase by grabbing the handle and lifting, and I FELT the cyst burst.  Then it was gone – what on Earth?  That’s when I went a Googlin’ to see if I could figure out what it was – what kind of bump on your hand just disappears from moving your suitcase??  Weird.  It never came back.

    So here is what I concluded from that experience and my learnings on Wikipedia – they used to whack them in the old days, and I whacked mine by accident, and I didn’t die and my hand did not fall off, so this must be a fine method of dealing with them.  The next one that popped up (they pop up fast it seems like), I introduced to my TV remote one night.  That sufficiently scared that one away permanently, too.  I usually agonize over them for a few days, wondering if they are what I think they are, and then I either take a half-assed swing at them, or I massage them very firmly, at which point I can either see or feel that some fluid has been released, which confirms for me that they are a ganglion cyst.  Then I give them a day or two to pop back up to full size, and I have at them.  The most recent one, I used my cold cream jar to give it a whack.  It had a nice rounded side and felt perfect in my hand for ganglion bludgeoning. 

    If yours is going away and you’re fine with that, good for you.  Carry on.  But if you do decide you’d like to just be done with it, from my experience you can skip the doc and just grab your bible – or your TV remote, or a hairbrush, or anything that seems right for whacking your ganglions.

    Yes, I use cold cream.  I know.

  2. Guest says:

    It looks like dupuytren contracture. look it up…

    1.  That sounds scary. Actually, I did look it up and that’s definitely not it. My doctor told me awhile ago, it’s a cyst. And…it seems to be getting smaller. But I appreciate your input. 🙂

  3. Flgirlie76 says:

    It is a ganglion cyst, i have one in the same place… i went to a hand specialist and he said that it could be drained by needle, but it will come back or have the 20 min surgery which consist of a small incision, cut it out and stitch it up. the chances of it coming back afterwards are not very likely and the stitches come out in 10 days. My surgery is being scheduled for around the 16th of this month. hope i have helped in some way.

    1.  Hi Flgirlie76!
      Believe it or not, my cyst seems to be going down recently. Boy wouldn’t that be nice if it just…went away. I wish you the best for your hand and a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for you comment!
      – Margaret

  4. […] also had him look at the thing on my hand. Remember when I showed you that? That thing on my hand that I figured was a ganglion cyst that Doc Martin on the BBC sitcom bashed […]

  5. Opto-Mom says:

    It looks like a ganglion cyst. I had one on my index finger. I don’t know about bashing it with a Bible, but I’ve heard that smashing it with a Buddha statue helps.

    1. Wouldn’t you know, I actually do have a Buddha statue.

      And how much grief do you get from other people for having a blogname so close to “Octo-Mom”?

  6. Sheila says:

    My dad had one of those on his neck for years – it was weird when he had it removed, like they removed an ear or something. Embrace it, shake hands with that hand and at the moment of contact, make a buzzing noise – or scream and say “look what you did to my hand!”

    1. Oh my goodness – I could be rich…RICH, I say! What with all the threats of lawsuits every time someone shakes my hand. Bu-wha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa…

  7. Kathrynmohler says:

    You’re goofy. I like that.

  8. Duchess says:

    That is seriously EWWWW.

  9. Elisabeth says:

    Looks like a ganglion or a dried out stigmata perhaps, the type some saints bore in years gone by. Nothing too serious I imagine. No need hopefully for a doctor, at least not an expensive one.

    I’m new to your blog, from Australia, via Taradharma. It’s good to meet you.

    1. Of course! A dried out stigmata. See? It took someone from Australia to properly diagnose my problem.

      Speaking of which, I would love for you to join our White Elephant Gift Exchange party. We are looking for more Aussies to come and spice it up a bit. Oh, I hope you’ll come. It’ll be a riot. Here are the details if you’re interested.

  10. Nezzy says:

    Yep, Dr. Nezzy’s diagnosis is a cyst. They lance the skin and cut the thing out and it they don’t get it all…they come back with avengence!!!

    Good luck with the stinkin’ bump and I sure hope it’s not painful.

    Have a great day sweetie!!! :o)

    1. Nope. Not painful. And not in a big hurry to have it checked out. Unless it starts to talk to me or something.

      You have a good day, too!

  11. Liz says:

    That’s the weirdest thing! And it moves?!? That would freak me out. I’d want to cut off my hand.

    1. Well, thank goodness you don’t have it then. I’m not sure cutting off your own hand 127-hours-style would be the best idea you’ve had. Although the film rights would set you up for life.

  12. Heidi says:

    I like the idea of photographing your ailment and putting it out there!! I’m sure it’s nothing serious, but I don’t recommend smashing it. It could be a calcium deposit, which is harmless. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Heidi! Yes, I’ve decided to do health care by quorum from now on. You get so many second opinions that way.


  13. Step away from the hammer, Margaret. I have no idea what that bump is, but I’m pretty sure a hammer will not help.

    And I’m with Jayne below on the insurance companies. Grrrr.

    I hope the fairies come tonight and make the bump go away.

    xo jj

    1. Fairies would be nice. Especially if their co-payment is less than twelve thousand dollars.

  14. Well, Margaret dear, I do also believe that it is a gaglion cyst… Sorry to disappoint, but no conspiracy theory here. I did find some GOOD info for you, so that you don’t get some wacko advice from some people that LOVE to tell you about how their hands turned purple and black and then fell off (like how could they type – with their nose, or other appendege that I don’t even want to THINK about). So, here’s something for you to read from the Mayo Clinic… yeah, the one in Rochester, MN:

    1. Thank you, Lorie, for your wonderful research. I will check this article out. Then I can say, “Well, the MAYO CLINIC told me….” real loud so heads will turn.

  15. Oh, and I have to ask you… do you scrape off the letters on your keyboard with those nails like I do?

    1. Are you saying that is what’s causing this bible thumping growth? Because I haven’t seen the letter “E” in years.

      1. It could be, I had to buy a new keyboard because M, N, L and O were missing.
        Actually O looked like a C and it was messing me up.

  16. Drew says:

    I supposed you looked up “ganglion cyst” and came across this link:

    Is that why you want to smash it with a hammer? Do you have something against the bible? 😉

    1. Actually, yes, I did find that entry. But I thought I made up the hammer thing myself. Did they suggest using one? Isn’t that sort of a dangerous thing to recommend to the internet public?

      1. Drew says:

        They didn’t suggest smashing it. They mentioned smashing it was an “old, outdated method”. If it really is a ganglion cyst, it will keep coming back unless you have it surgically removed. Then it only “might” come back.

        Good luck!

  17. It looks like a ganglion to me too but it’s on the wrong part of your body. Go ahead and smash it with a Bible or the works of Shakespeare, that’s what I use when I smash mine. I have two, one on each side of my right wrist. I’ve had them surgically removed, suctioned out and done the bible method. They always come back but the bible method is a lot cheaper.

  18. Yikes. I have NO IDEA what that could possibly be!

  19. It looks a little like a callus to me. Did it start in Mexico? Because if it did, you probably got some kind of a Mexican bug bite. I had Mexican mosquito bites once that nearly swelled me double. Then the housekeeping staff sprayed my room with DDT and gave me chemical pneumonia. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. You only have one? If I only have “one” of anything I ignore it. Oh wait, there are some exceptions.

    1. chemical pneumonia? yikes, Linda!

      I do, however, like the general rule of ignoring pretty much anything there’s only one of.

  20. gayle says:

    It might be a cyst but I would still go to the doctor!

  21. Nicky says:

    *bottom lip trembles*

    Margaret, first let me say that I’m sure it’s nothing serious. Nothing serious at all.

    Now I really want to tell you how much I’ve always enjoyed your blog. I admire your wit, your intelligence and your humour. You’ve become a really good friend and I’ll miss you terribly when you di…um…I mean…if you need to take some time off to rest. *sniff* Don’t worry though, we’ll all be right here when *chokes back a sob* you’re back to your old self again. We love you Margaret.

    *runs from the room, wailing*

  22. Melanie says:

    … and what are you doing taking a picture of your hand while you are driving anyway??? Don’t you know you’re not supposed to take pictures in the ‘down’ position? Wouldn’t the passing scenary have made a better background anyway??

    1. For once I took a picture in my car when I wasn’t driving. I probably shouldn’t say that out loud when I’ve got a car insurance claim pending.

  23. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JunkDrawer. JunkDrawer said: RT @nannygoats: OK, who wants to play doctor? #whatsthisthingonmyhand […]

  24. Blueyes says:

    ganglion cyst definitely, you’d have to have surgery to remove it if you so choose.

    1. Surgery? Ack! I can learn to love this thing if surgery is the only way to get rid of it. 🙂

  25. Deblcrh says:

    careful on the bashing it thing…a friend of mine has had one on her wrist forever. She always thought it was the gangloin, but while she was having carpel tunnel surgery recently…Dr said it was a joint cluster of sorts. Most likely calcium deposit of some sort and it wasn’t hurting anything by being there. Did not reccomend removing it because it was laying on the joint. Is yours moveable? Or does it seems attached to something anchored in??
    I think the moveable ones are the kind that they can extract with a needle but then again..I only have a learned degree in goat doctoring and so I would call the Vet…they are cheaper anyway!

    1. Why didn’t I think of calling a vet? This thing does feel like it’s attached, sort of. Ooh, I’m getting woozy just talking about it.

  26. DrLori71 says:

    It does look like a ganglion cyst. (Of course I can’t be 100% sure without examining it)
    I’ll only charge you a copay of $6000 for my professional medical opinion 🙂

    1. $6,000 sounds like a bargain at today’s prices! Thank you, Doctor. Send me the bill.

  27. Kate says:

    Uh…Margaret…have you seen ‘Alien’? How’s your abdomen? Just wondering.

    1. Eek! Did you see the comment before you? That’s at least two votes for an alien so far. Which must mean that it’s likely to be an alien. I thought that rumble in my tummy was indigestion from all that pumpkin pie, but now you’ve got me thinking…

  28. FragrantLiar says:

    Okay, so did you see Alien? That part where the mini evil weevil bursts out of John Hurt’s rib cage? Yeah, it’s like that.

    Or something that’s annoying but not harmful. Yeah.

    1. Eek! That sounds horrifying, but also awesome.

    2. I was going to mention Alien, but wanted to see if anyone else had done it first… sure enough! My vote goes to the Alien!

  29. Jaffer says:

    … or retreat to Canada.
    Oh who am I kidding. Many Canadians go to the USA for treatment !

    I don’t know what that is .. does it hurt ? Is it as hard as a bone ?

    1. It’s not hard as a bone, actually. It’s not exactly soft either. And while Canadians go to the US for treatment, the US goes to Canada for its drugs.

      Hey, don’t you want to come to my Elephant Gift party? We’ve got at least one other Canadian on the guest list that I’d love to match you up with. I’d love to see you there if you can make it.

      1. Jaffer says:

        “the US goes to Canada for its drugs” … True that.

        I know about your white elephant gift party. But there’s really nothing I can think of boxing and give it as a gift. I’ll feel really guilty.
        I had better read all of them blogs about what they got and perhaps join next time…

        1. Ah, good point, Jaffer. I always assume everybody’s got crap lying around the house. You should be commended for your efficiency and home cleanliness. I aspire to be such a person, with no unwanted items in my home. {WISTFUL SIGH}

  30. Jayne says:

    General insurance premium increases have nothing to do HCR, although the gender equality thing might. That’s just the insurance companies bullshit excuse to do what they would have anyway. There is a strong movement happening right now here in California for a single payer system which, if enacted, would put the greedy m’f’ing insurance companies out of business so be prepared to here a lot of desperate lies coming from them and for God’s sake, don’t watch Fox.

    As for the mark on your hand, it looks like a spider bite, but since you’re still alive, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Happy New Year, my friend.

    P.S. I have to confess, I have a really cute goat video on my blog right now that I found and didn’t tell you about and I feel guilty because I’m a recovering Catholic. I’ll do a few Hail Marys and then we should be square.

    1. Putting the greedy m’f’ing insurance companies out of business sounds like my kinda movement.

      As for your selfish hoarding of cute goat videos, I forgive you, even though I’m neither an active, nor a recovering Catholic. so save your Hail Marys for when you don’t send me a goat cheese recipe.

  31. JunkDrawer says:

    Wow. Cool. A ball bearing hand. Maybe it’s from too much blogging? The Google says if you use your hand too much, then it might get bigger. I swear to God, it said that. Get your mind out of the gutter.

    You’re doomed. That’s my diagnosis.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I figured I was doomed, but I just needed some validation. And if I use my hand too much, does my HAND get bigger? Or does Google get bigger?

  32. janegassner says:

    I have one of them there doohickies on my wrist.

    1. Wow! These are more common than I thought.

  33. Pricilla says:

    I do not know what this is but I had an abscess on my neck once. The male person had to give me shots of penicillin. On my butt. I did not like this. I kicked him.

    I know that was not nice but he was hurting me.

    It did get rid of my abscess though….

    Maybe I should not have kicked him.
    Maybe if you kick the male person it will get rid of your gangly on.

    1. That’s sounds good. I would much rather kick someone than have something painful happen to ME.

  34. SFChick says:

    It’s probably ganglion cyst. I have one on my hand too, right below my pinky.

    Pretty much there’s nothing the doctor can do about it anyway. When I went in to have them look at it, they burst it (yuck I know) and said it would probably come back (it did) and if I wanted to get rid of it, I’d probably have to have surgery (no thanks), but unless it was really affecting me someway it wouldn’t be worth it.

    It’s just a build up of fluid in your tendon (I think). People get them all the time (in many different places) and have no idea they have them.

    1. You have one too? Cool! We can compare bumps the next time we see each other!