20 April 2013

Just do it

Recently I've had occasion to think 'Just do it'. Do two things that have been really hard, without mulling them over too much.

The first was this: kill a chicken. I've had one that's been a bit of a dud for a while - a brown shaver that rarely lays, and when she does the shells are super thin and the whites very watery. I want to increase my flock to five; she was the old number three who needed to drop away so that my three new chickens would become the majority and therefore be less bullied by the two remaining matriarchs.

Also, she was a bit unwell, often sitting hunched.

The unlucky bird in healthier days.

I knew my neighbour's father was visiting yesterday and I planned to ask him to show me how to 'neck' a chicken. He turned up, I came across him in the driveway and he asked when I wanted to do it. I knew that the next day an appointment might stop me from doing it, so we seized the moment and did the deed.

I did it, with his hand over mine. She didn't struggle - well, before death, that is. I wish he had warned me. I thought that only happened with decapitation.

Regardless, she went quickly.

The appointment was with a plastic surgeon, in whose hands I literally put my poor lower lip. My poor lip that's constantly needed lip balm on it since I was a child, or it would crack and bleed. That for the last six months has had a raw patch that never healed.

It's never going to get better, he said, and it's precancerous. Sunburn when I was a child is the likely cause (although he said there is huge variability in how people can handle such burns, so not everyone who's had burnt lips will be in my situation).

The inside of my mouth has become my 'new' lower lip. The underlying muscle remains intact, it's just the skin on top that's now in their rubbish bin. Fairly shocking, and he did say I could go away and think about it, but I knew that would only make it worse, so I told him "Just do it".

The other thing I'll be just doing is putting lip sunblock on my children from now on. I've hesitated because they'll end up swallowing sunscreen chemicals. But with my genes, that's probably a low risk thing to do compared to the prospect lip surgery.

At least, I kept thinking, it wasn't my eyes. And this too will pass.

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