I’ve got a bible cyst (also known as a bible bump) on my left wrist. No kidding. It’s not quite as funny as it sounds.
It has been a nuisance for a while. Since the last round of life and death heart surgery, it has moved down the priority list from a serious problem to a minor aggravation. Everything is relative.
It’s been on my wrist for years. It’s annoying. It came and went (typical behavior for cysts) and has made it impossible to wear a watch. Hardly a medical emergency.
One day, about two years ago, it blew up. Got huge. Too much typing? It hurt when I moved the wrist.
I talked to the doctor about it. He thought I should address the cyst and the arthritis in my hands at the same time.
Before that happened, the cyst deflated — and my heart blew up. It’s two years later. A lot of heart surgery, but I’ve still got the cyst, which still comes and goes. Sometimes it hurts, other times it itches. I live with it. I have bigger things on my plate.
What makes it a Bible Cyst?
Ganglion cysts, typically located on wrists (though sometimes on knees, fingers or toes) are known as “bible cysts,” alternatively as “Gideon’s disease.”
Why? Glad you asked. In the good old days, the treatment for ganglion cysts was to give them a hard whack with a heavy book, breaking the cyst and draining it. Since the bible was usually the heaviest book in the house (often the only book), though I’ve heard a full-size dictionary, Oxford or Webster, will do the job just fine. You see the connection, right?
Somehow, getting whacked on the cyst with a heavy book seems a solution I’d rather skip.
Ironically, the old “whack the cyst with the bible” apparently works every bit as well as any modern surgery. Better. Cysts thus whacked rarely return. I suspect the whackee would never tell anyone if it did recur. One bible whacking is probably enough for any wrist.
It gives a new meaning to the expression “bible thumper”!