The Bible Cyst on My Wrist

I’ve got a bible cyst on my left wrist. No kidding. It’s not quite as funny as it sounds. Almost as funny.

The ganglion cyst on my left wrist has been a nuisance for a year or so. Today, I recategorized it as a problem I have to address ASAP. I’ve had carpal tunnel problems for a long time, but didn’t feel like dealing with them. The cyst wasn’t a big deal. Just annoying. It came and went (typical behavior for cysts) and made it impossible to wear a watch, but could hardly be classified as a medical emergency. Until last night.

This is a ganglion cyst on the inner right wri...

It blew up last night. Why? Probably too much typing. It hurts a lot when I move the wrist. Since I have bursitis in both hips making it hard to walk and my back is permanently on the fritz  — which is why I have bursitis in my hips — the idea of losing the use of another body part is unacceptable.

I’ve already talked to the doctor about it and we agree I need to address the cyst and the carpel nerve issue.

The surgery for carpal tunnel is routine and low-risk surgery. The cyst may not even require surgery. But I need to move my timeline up. I was planning to get to it eventually. Now, I need to deal with it sooner rather than later. With a little luck, the cyst will go away by itself. It has before. Or be drainable with a needle.

For the meantime, I have to limit typing. That translates to less writing. I’ll post more reruns and short new pieces. I’ve got almost 1200 posts in the archives. I think that’s enough material to keep me going for a while. Bear with me and don’t worry. As medical crises go, this is nothing.

What makes it a Bible Cyst? Entertaining historical (hysterical) note.

Ganglion cysts, typically located on wrists (though sometimes on knees, fingers or toes) are known as “bible cysts,” alternatively as  “Gideon’s disease.” Why you ask?

I’m glad you asked. Because in the good old days, the treatment for ganglion cysts was to give them a very hard whack with a really heavy book, thus breaking the cyst and draining it. Since the bible was usually the heaviest book in the house … well, you get the connection, right? I don’t know about you-all, but I’m just as happy we are not living in the good old days.

Somehow, getting whacked on the cyst with a heavy book seems a solution I’d sooner skip. I’ll got with the doctor, Novocaine, and all the new-fangled folderol.

Ironically, the old “whack the cyst with the bible” apparently worked every bit as well as surgery and the cysts thus whacked rarely came back. My suspicion is that the whackee would never tell anyone if it did recur. I bet one bible whacking is enough for any wrist.

It gives a whole new meaning to “bible thumper”!



Categories: #Blogging, #Writing, Health, Humor

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31 replies

  1. My daughters orthopedic surgeon said she had three options: book smashing, needle draining, or surgery. She did the needle draining. Of course it might come back, and bring friends.

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    • Apparently the book smashing works better. Friend of mine did it with a nine iron, but that was an accident. When she stopped screaming, she realized she no longer had a cyst.

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      • Wow. I think if I went after my daughter with a metal rod I might get in trouble. I watched them extract the fluid. It was a clear gel, and it’s not completely gone. If I had one it would be filled with dark chocolate I’m sure.

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  2. Goodness ! What we have to go through !
    One of my fingers got infected some how – a while back – so I went to the Doc. He grabs my fingers – jabs it with a scalpel – squishes the stuff out – put some anti-biotic on it and and band aide – tells me to get lost.
    I sitting there thinking … geez, I coulda done that myself.
    I felt like whacking him with a BIble.

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  3. Ow. I hope it feels better soon.

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  4. Glad it’s not as bad as it looks.
    A bible cyst – huh? Well – I can’t imagine living back before modern medicine. By now – I would have been long gone & dead. Although I gave birth to 3 kids naturally – no painmeds whatsoever – I’m a wus when it comes to pain. Thankfully -labor for each one was not long. Two of three were born in less than an hour from the time I arrived to the ER. 🙂

    Hope all the other stuff gets better for you too.

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  5. How do you know? How do you know? The Bible tells you so!!

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  6. I had one of these about 5 years ago; same wrist, but on the upper side of the joint. The doctor referred to it as a Devil’s Cyst, leading to inevitable question “Why?” and the corresponding Bible cure. The annoyance of the cyst was small, especially compared to the inconvenience of surgery coupled with the likelihood of a re-occurrence. I opted to do nothing. About a half-year later I had a minor slip while cleaning my car, but caught myself. The sudden impact and bending as my hand hit the floor popped the cyst. Thankfully, it has not returned.

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    • I’ve had this one for a while and it never bothered me more than to make it impossible to wear a watch. It only just became a problem and painful. It may not be just the cyst hurting. The carpel tunnel I’ve been ignoring for years may be catching up with me. I need to find out what’s really going on in there. I just didn’t want to deal with one more medical thing.

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  7. I’ve suffered with these all my life. When I was about 12 I had one operated on, it came back and that was removed too. Now I have scars on that wrist but no cyst, yet my other wrist has one! It came around 6 months before my wedding in 2011, so I smacked it with a dictionary. It burst and was pretty painless, and stayed away until a few months ago. Not quite as big as yours yet, but if it grows any more I wont hesitate in smacking it again! I have a huge phobia of needles so thats not an option 😦

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    • It just grew ballooned overnight. I’ve had one on my knee for years and it doesn’t bother me unless I wear jeans that rub that part of my kneecap. I’ve this one on my wrist for a few years. It inflates and deflates and it never bothered me much, aside from making wearing a watch uncomfortable. It’s pretty awkwardly located for me to whack it and I’m pretty sure Garry is not the man for this particular job. If it were anyone but me, maybe, but I don’t think he could actually hit me, even for my own good. Maybe if he used one of his big movie books — like the one about John Wayne. The Duke would approve I’m sure! Or I’ll let the doctor poke at it.

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  8. awesome post. Good info.I loved your blog.

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  9. My mother would have said, “We’ll lance it and it will be fine.” That mean a poke a with a needle “sterilized” over an open flame. That seemed to be the answer to a lot of things.

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    • That’s one way. It works if the cyst is filled with fluid, which they are about half the time … though there is always a danger of infection. The book whack method seems the classic. Someone said she used a Webster’s dictionary and it worked very well. I’ll go with trying to use the wrist less and seeing a doctor. Sterile equipment and all that.

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