A Visit to the Dermatologist
Be like the Teva Diva of Heels and Tevas—not like the Uber Driver. Watch those spots and get them early.
The other day I took an Uber ride out to my physician’s office. Charles (his real name) is an older gentleman, retired, married to a younger self-employed woman. (You find these things out when you talk with people. Lynnelle is always kind of amazed with how I engage pretty much everybody.)
A Cautionary Dermatological Tale
I mentioned I was seeing the dermatologist to have him look at a couple of suspicious (and I suspected “pre-cancerous”) spots and so the rest of my sunlight exposed body could be perused by a professional spotter of things cancerous and pre-cancerous.
“Do you know that for skin cancer now, they remove it and go test to see if they got all of it and come back and cut some more if they didn’t get it all?” Charles asked. This type of scary stuff is not really necessary when one is going to the dermatologist. I may have murmured “No,” and Charles continued.
“The last time I was in for a spot on my nose. I got in at 7 AM and he cut me 7 times. I didn’t get out of there until 7 at night.” Ugh. “Yep. They freeze ya, but after a while it doesn’t work. The last time he came in to cut more I told him it was his last try. So I think he took a larger hunk that time. This is a big skin doctor practice and they have a whatchamacallit working with them.” I pondered. “Lab?” “No. Well, yes, but that’s not what I meant.” After two more false leads we settled on plastic surgeon. “Yep. That’s it. She was nice enough. Came in to the room took one look at the hole in my nose and said, ‘I don’t know if I can cover this.’ I told her to do her best. Problem was, the freezing thing no longer worked on me so I felt every stitch. She did a good job, though.”
Yes, one part of me wanted to ask him to take me back to the marina, but I persevered, knowing that this visit was to prevent cutting down the road.
My Voluable Dermatologist
My dermatologist has a main office in Jacksonville and a part-time office in my physician’s practice where we’d met a couple of times when I did some professional work for the office. He’s a fast moving, fast talking, no holds barred kind of doc. I like him. (Which is a good thing, or I might have injured him.) Once we established that we knew each other, here are the things he said while I was largely silent. (Rare, but it happens.)
“Oh yeah. That’s precancerous. We’ll take care of that.”
“Hey, here’s another one.”
Looking at my face, “That’s a mole, that’s a mole. You have a lot of moles. Age spot. Age spot. That’s an age spot, too. How old are you?”
“Oh. Getting up there.”
He ignored that and moved on to my legs. “Mole. Mole. Mole. You have a lot of moles.” We’d established that. I do. “What’s that?” “Oh, I nicked myself shaving this week.” “Guess I can ignore that, then.”
He checked my shoulders and down to my bra from the top of the Fresh Produce dress I had chosen for easy access. Once he seemed to be done, I said. “Do you mind just lifting my dress and checking my back? I’m never sure my husband knows what to look for.” “No problem. I do this all day,” he said as he whipped up my skirt. And a few minutes later, “Just a lot of moles.”
He used that freezing spray on both moles. (Cryotherapy.) Told me they would “Be as ugly as hell for a couple of weeks.” And I was done.
Most entertaining and effortless medical procedure I’ve had in years and after the cautionary tale from my Uber driver, this is an appointment I’ll be sure to make on a regular basis—even when I get “up there” in age for real. (Whenever that occurs.)
So, Heels and Tevas Tribe, we love you. Please remember to get your skin checked on a regular basis. Know your body and know what to look for. In my case, I’ve had these exact type of bumps in the past and I recognize them quite easily—which does not mean that I’m complacent about checking for other types of skin cancer.