A granuloma is a medical term for a ball-like collection of immune cells which forms when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. Such substances include infectious organisms such as bacteria and fungi as well as other materials such as keratin, suture fragments and vegetable particles. A granuloma is therefore a special type of inflammatory reaction that can occur in a wide variety of diseases, both infectious and non-infectious. The adjective "granulomatous" refers to diseases or inflammatory reactions that are characterized by granulomas.
Doctors often use the term "granuloma" loosely to mean "a small nodule". Since a small nodule can represent anything from a harmless nevus to a malignant tumor, this usage of the term is not very specific. The correct use of the term "granuloma" requires a pathologist to examine surgically removed and specially colored (stained) tissue under a microscope. This is what my day has been about. My doctor told me today that she thinks the the thing with my little fingernail (I thought it was just your run of the mill nail fungus) is a granuloma. She neglected to tell me what that meant. I had to look it up online. Never look stuff up online, it's just plain scary. She made me make an appointment with the new dermatologist at the office because he apparently specializes in nails. Yep, you read that right he specializes in nails.
Now as it happens I have "soft" nails. All that means is they bend very easily. But as it stands I have no pinky nail on my left hand and the index finger is losing it's nail too. The sucky part (OK, one of the sucky parts) is the appointment is in JUNE! I have to suffer the not knowing until then!! I hate not knowing.
And to prove just how bad today is, a very good friend told me today that she lost her job. Today sucks. It just plain sucks.
--Little Bird should not look up stuff like that on the internets