The Doctor Visit

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… 😉

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11 Responses to “The Doctor Visit”

  1. I am glad you did it that way, get right to it, real life stories are always the best, especially the way you write. I’m sure we all want to know the results! I know that spot has been there on and off a while, I am glad you did that! time to get rid of it! for good. love, me

  2. Hey Cutie,
    Welcome to the world of scars, spots, hair, and marks. Getting old is hell.

  3. Hope it comes out a-ok. If you need further treatment and Mohs surgery is an option. Go for it. It is a pain in the arse as you sit and keep going back in for scrapings, but they know that all “bad boys” are gone. Your face will look really “lovely” for awhile, but it will fade. I looked like I went a round with Mohammad Ali. But I’m coming up to my 1 yr and my scar isn’t so bad. I see my boy every morning. So a little scar on my face is nada to me.

  4. I forgot to say. Joseph was disappointed you didn’t go with Nascar. How did I get a redneck son?

  5. lol… geesh..think I will cancel my dermo guy appt for Monday.. The alternative doesn’t sound so bad after that..lol

  6. Thank you all…yes, getting old is Hell. Better to live a little hell than to be there on a permanent basis!

    Salobrena, you go. You never know what Saturday Night Live skit awaits you! 😉

    Kathy, tell Joe I found a better brand…the distinguished Boo-Boo-Care Brand from Target that makes diecut shaped animals and bugs. Yesterday, a blue bee…today a pink pig…tomorrow…maybe I’ll be a fish 😉

  7. Man alive, H, that was a great story! Lordy, you write so well! You need to write at book. Now I’m a bit worried about you. But you’ll be fine, I know. Jeeze, I never noticed that friend of yours on your face. Glad you’re gettin’ it gone, though. When me and Jess get there, we’ll see your new scar. Knowing you, You’ll like it..

  8. If I go to hell when I die I won’t be a bit surprised to find that it is a physician’s “reception” area.

    I had a big mole removed back in ’96 by my family practitioner. She didn’t do any scraping at all. Just cut it right out and stitched me up. I have a lovely scar to this day.

    So earlier this year when I decided to finally go get that big mole on my back removed I figured I’d go to a real skin doctor. He shaved it off, but it took two separate visits (both of which tooks three weeks healing time) all to the tune of over a thousand dollars! And I have a gigantic scar (well, maybe I’m exaggerating, it’s the size of a quarter). Next time I’m just going to my regular doctor and letting him do it for the copay and one healing period.

    I went to St. Louis last Thursday and just got back today. It was so nice to get away from work! I have to go back tomorrow and I’ll pay for being gone, but it was worth it! I rode Sea-Doos with my cousin John up on the rivers (Mississippi and Illinois). It was spectacular. Just what I needed.

    Buddy is getting so big! I finally got some more pictures of him posted. I love him so much. He’s mommy’s little boo boo 🙂

  9. Ok Cindy, I’ll let you read my first manuscript if I write one. But I highly doubt I can’t sit still long enough to write one!

    and M.Y. I have my doubts about anyone with a “Boo Boo” in her life going to Hell. 😉
    Actually I’m rather counting on it. I have a 2 legged “Boo Boo” of my own. She’s my lovely niece.

    I hope you wore sunscreen on that Sea-Doo girl!!!

  10. Great story! You *are* a writer. The tiny waiting room couldn’t have sounded worse, and to think why everyone is there and the anxiety that a doctor’s visit can create. Jim would have been the guy opting to wait outside.

    Well, I’m also glad that you opted to get the biopsy right away. I urged Jim to do the same thing recently, although his doctor felt it wasn’t at all cancer looking so zapped it off so we could see how it reacts. Which reminds me, I’m going to have to ask him if he’s scheduled a follow-up.

  11. You did a good thing without even knowing it..folks will take another look at their skin to make sure it’s ok.

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