Ok, I haven’t told a story for a while…and well, today, I’ve got one. First, let me begin to tell you folks out there that still think it’s cool to have a tan, forget it. I spent my entire teen years burning…and peeling, burning and peeling, “repeat at will”… and now I’m paying for it. I now walk around with a giant black Joan Crawford hat and Chinese paper umbrellas; with SP…I don’t know…what are they up to…90? ya know…kind of vampirish.. (Not that I have any problems with vampires) Ok… that said. Preaching over.
Today was my “see the Dermatologist because you’ve had this thing on your cheek forever” visit. I actual refer to it as “My little friend” in a Scarface kind of accent. After securing a parking spot…that isn’t all that easy here in So Cal…I finally made it to room 204. When I opened the door to the office, I was greeted by a “spaciously challenged” room…maybe 9 feet wide by 10 feet long. It held a couch, a table and 4 chairs…2 facing 2 others…all shoved in with a shoehorn. There were no windows unless you call the slider door where the receptionist sits hidden with her own air… a window.
I crammed my way inside and saw a disgruntled looking 20 something guy with his equally disgruntled 20 something girlfriend sitting on the narrow couch. They were probably just mad because they now were forced to share their already limited air supply. Well, I did what any normal person would…I signed in for my 10:30 appointment, glared back and took a seat. The receptionist called me and gave me the ever-popular clipboard. It had more papers to sign than the mortgage I currently have and asked me more personal questions that my own husband has ever dared to ask.
While filling papers out, the narrow entrance door opened and in huddled an elderly lady with a large carved cane. She managed her way to the receptionist sign-in sheet and then took the second of the 4 chairs, opposite me…cane extending far into the room. Still filling out my paperwork, the door opened yet again. In came a long, lanky woman in maybe her late 50’s. She apparently was a repeat customer and had the routine down. She promptly signed and sat in the 3rd of 4 chairs, next to me. I had finished the first draft on my future life story and walked back up. It was at this time I noticed two things. One was that everyone signing in had an appointment at 10:30 and that thankfully there was a candy dish…with tootsie rolls. Well, all things considered, figuring trouble brewing, I naturally dug in, took enough to kill the pain and re-took my seat just in time to see the door open again.
In walked a very round, very tall man…with a rather large, round, pink woman behind him…and just as I thought the room couldn’t get any smaller…in came their daughter with the largest Afro I have ever seen in my life! It was at this very moment I started searching this tiny room for the hidden camera. Each person shuffled around, trying to get comfortable in a room where a family of Hobbits couldn’t get comfortable. I noticed the disgruntled guy get up and hi-tail it out into the hallway as quick as he could. He apparently thought it was “him”…or “her”…and he’d chose to save himself.. We all sat, trying not to stare at each other because there wasn’t anywhere to look…and just when I thought it couldn’t get worse…in walked a woman with a rather large incision at her throat with some very nasty looking sutures. I could feel my head spinning.
She signed, sat and stared with the rest. It was about this time my phone began to ring. It’s rather loud and I tried hard to get to it in time to turn it off. That’s when the elderly lady said “that’s a pretty song’…”who is it?”…all eyes on me. I swallowed and mumbled “Staind”. The late fiftyish woman yelled “Sting?”…. to which I had to reply “No, S-T-A-I-N-D”. “Well it’s very pretty…what’s the title?” she asked. I had to tell her “It’s been a while”…, to which I will not repeat the conversations of confusion that title lead to about my “remembering” but will tell you that Afro kid had a big smirk on her face, waiting to see how I’d get out of it. She and I were the only ones to know that the “Pretty song” was written by a recovered heroine addict confessing his life’s low moments…complete with profanity.
In my silence, the rather large, pink, round woman decided to ask each person his or her reason for being there at this momentous moment in time. I was treated to horrific scars, office treatments, surgery stories, chemo advise and just…just as they got to me…an angel with bright blue eyes and a pixie grin opened the second door and yelled “Heather”. I have never in my life catapulted across a room as if shot from a cannon…but I did then. I kissed her hand and said “THANK GOD YOU CAME FOR ME…!” I think she might have even understood.
I was then settled into a room of quite lovely, Zen like, decor. The designer, no doubt, had at one time been left in the waiting room and felt some form of moral responsibility to those who “made it through” boot camp lobby. I found it interesting that a dermatologist has the same type of bed thing you’re supposed to hop up on. The angel asked me the routine questions, “What are you allergic to”…oh so innocently. My smile confirmed she had hit the jackpot. Upon completion I sat there re-living, in my mind, the stories I had just heard in the Hobbit cave until the Doctor walked in and looked at me over her glasses. She questioned me rather bluntly about “my little friend”…”How long?”….“Um, well, a while”…quite a while”… No eye contact. To which she said “Are we talking years?… Hummmmmm…
She put her rather large glass over me with its rather bright light and pulled and prodded my cheek. She pulled her glasses upright and said “We can go about this one of 2 ways”…”I can give you a topical cream and we can try it for 3 weeks…or we can biopsy now…. which could leave a scar”. Now I knew damn well she thought I’d pick the cream being a woman. I replied, “Well, you know… I’ve always looked kinda innocent…let’s chance the scar!”… And finally, a smile. She then did her thing, finally presenting my cheek with a very un-fashionable band aid that could not be more noticeable if it were hot pink and I left with a “thank you very much” getting the hell out. I actually ran the 3 steps I needed to pass the waiting room.
I returned to work and promptly told the boys I was happy to have “Shaved off” a little weight and that I had now provided them with a target for all those rubber bands. My first comment, from a friend was…”Oh, Nice look”… I expected no less…
When I got home I promptly went to the store in search of the “cool band aids”. I had a choice of “Nascar” or “Hello Kitttie”…neither of which suits me. I was looking for a scull with crossbones but selected “Hello Kittie” because I figure I can draw fangs on her…
And, when I return to the Doc’s office, I think I’ll get some use out of my old lawn chair and sit in the hallway until they call… 😉