I'm not really all that mysterious

basic concepts in wound healing

One of the things we learn as children about wounds is that you should never pick at your scabs. This is guaranteed to prevent healing of the wound, and can actually promote scarring to the point of disfigurement.

You would think that at this stage in my life, after over two decades of formal education, the last seven specifically focused on the Art of Healing™, that I would know this very basic fact that even three year olds can grasp, and that I would not pick at my wounds.

You would, however, be underestimating how absurd I am.

There is this anecdotal idea that continued picking at a wound can also promote cancer. This may well be a mistaken association. True, it is known that some non-healing wounds are actually malignancies, but I think this is just a characteristic of these particular malignancies, and not a consequence of picking at your scabs.

Still, theoretically, the mechanism is sound. Wound healing stimulates cell proliferation, and any time cells proliferate, there is a risk of error in the replication process. Errors in the replication process are otherwise known as mutations. Mutations typically cause cells to self-destruct, but if you accumulate enough of them rapidly, you’ll quickly find that you’re on your way to developing a tumor. But I have yet to read any literature actually confirming that this can happen.

So I wonder, if I keep picking at this wound in my soul, will malignancy soon develop? Is my soul destined to become rotten and defiled? (I’ve tried a few times to hit bottom, but I can never fall far enough. It’s like trying to kill yourself by holding your breath—it’s possible to succeed, but you’ve got to have supreme will, and more likely than not, you’ve got to be insane, too.)

For some reason, I have very little confidence that I will surpass the age of 39. While every sane man is afraid of mortality, I wonder if it might not be a blessing. I can’t imagine going through more than another 10 years of this kind of suffering.

(Then again, there is that infinitesimal chance that I might actually find fulfillment and happiness. Although I’m not holding my breath.)

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