We think of warts as something on our hands and feet, or something on the nose of a witch. But in reality, warts can turn up anywhere on anyone, even young kids like my daughter Samantha, who developed a wart in her nose when she was four years old.
At first, I thought it was simply a tiny pimple, until the wart got bigger, and the doctor spotted it. Although it was barely obvious, the doctor said it was a health hazard, one that warranted medical attention. After all, warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same culprit that causes cervical cancer, genital warts, cold sores and numerous other ailments. Letting it go untreated ran the small, but real risk that the virus could turn up elsewhere in the body.
Over the years we tried everything to get rid of that wart and visited numerous doctors. We tried liquid nitrogen. We tried freezing it. We tried laser surgery. And finally a few years ago, a surgeon excised it. Early one morning, Samantha inhaled some anesthesia, closed her eyes and awoke after the surgery to a popsicle.
All seemed well until last year, when the wart came back. This time, as an older child, Samantha had to have an afternoon appointment, which meant she couldn’t eat until dinner time. It also meant she had to have her sedatives administered intravenously, a fact that made my needle-phobic daughter queasy. In terms of surgery, youth certainly had its advantages.
A few months ago, Samantha noticed with horror that the wart had come back. Our pediatrician sighed when we told him about the wart. He said the surgeon was exasperated when he first told him about the wart years ago before he even saw Samantha. He knew that battling these warts was going to be just that: a battle.
So the other day, I made another appointment with Dr. M. In the midst of all the fun this summer, we’ll have to pause and have the wart removed. Then we’ll have to wait and hope that the wart is gone for good.