I didn’t expect to leave part of myself in that room.

9 Nov

This year I set-up a healthcare Flex Spending Account. I didn’t put much in it, but still, it was a pretty healthy year for me so I have a balance of $300 that threatens to disappear come January if I don’t use it.

I tell you that by way of explaining why I was at a dermatologist’s office this afternoon for the first time in my adult life. Apparently it’s on the list of annual inspections that adults over 35 should do, and since I am just sitting on a pile of money I can’t touch, I figured a bit of preventative care would be a good start.

As I sat in the waiting room (for a full hour, which is a different story), I noticed something: every patient walking out of the treatment area had at least one (and as many as six) circular bandaids affixed to his/her face. The first one I saw, I thought, “Wonder what she had done?” The second one, I was like, “Mole, mole mole…” a la Austin Powers. But by the third one, I was thinking we had a scalpel-happy doctor waiting on the other side of the door.

Turns out I was right. After a head-to-toe inspection (including a glance at my bikini  line – REALLY? – do people even GET moles there?) the doctor uttered the words, “I just want to do a biopsy on this one…” and the next thing I knew, I was on my stomach having a small and flat (but apparently dark) mole completely sliced off my back.

Say what?! The doctor left and her assistant came in to dress the wound. He looked to be an African American guy in his early 40s and was very friendly. “All right! You’re not even bleeding. Good stuff!” he informed me, rubbing his hands together.

“Apparently I’m awesome,” I told him, eyeing the mole formerly known as “mine,” which was now suspended in a sealed container of liquid.

He stopped and looked at me. “Women ARE awesome. Seriously. It’s the men that are a pain, always wanting to know how much something is gonna hurt or passing out when they see the needle. Big babies.”

Right on. I should’ve asked for his name so I could quote him on that.

When I walked out through the waiting room, I could feel all eyes on me. I wasn’t sure if I should run around and high-five everyone since I didn’t sport a bandaid on my face, or if I should turn around and lift my shirt to show everyone the bandage on my back so they’d know I wasn’t a pharmaceutical rep.

I wish I had been more prepared. Next week my friend Margaret is going. I’m going to send some fancy kids’ bandaids with her and recommend that she stop in the bathroom and put at least ten on her face before walking through the waiting room. Because the only thing more terrifying than a doctor who’s a cutter, it’s a cutter who loves Hello Kitty.

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One Response to “I didn’t expect to leave part of myself in that room.”

  1. Alicia November 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    I wonder if all dermatologists are cutters? When we took Avery to have his birthmark examined a few years ago (it had grown all bumpy), we thought it was just a visual inspection and next thing we know, they’re slicing off part of his scalp. Barf.

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