Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Note to Self

I live in Florida. I play outside. I go to the dermatologist for skin checks. But NOT, apparently, often enough to remember all the details.

My first couple full body scans in my late 40's were made bearable by the fact that my dermatologist was a woman, and that they are over so quickly that I had to work to convince myself that the trained eye really can spot a budding melanoma that quickly. But, alas, she's been gone from the practice for several years, so when I have a strange thing on my face that doesn't go away, I take the only appointment available that will get me in before our son's wedding, and glibly say "yes" to a "full body scan" to kill two birds with one payment. The resident physician (male) will check me.

I work to convince myself that this doctor-in-training has seen enough strange blemishes to know what to do with the one on my face, and remind myself that the full body scan will be over in less than a minute. Not much in my closet besides workout clothes fits me so I'm wearing comfy yoga pants with thong undies to avoid a rear view appearance of double butt. I'll have to take them off for the exam, anyway, so what does it matter?

Well, it matters a lot as soon as the young, female assistant informs me that I can leave on my undergarments for the body check. Great.

The "barely-out-of-his-teens" resident comes in, finds out that I run and bike while he works on that thing on my face, then squats down as he does the rear view body scan to get a good close look at the backside of the running legs. Unfortunately, he also has a good close look at my thong-clad, almost 53 year old grandma butt. I am certain, that even though words are coming from his mouth that my skin looks fine, his eyes have glazed over in shock, he can't bring himself to look any higher than my thigh and so hasn't even glanced at my back.

Which is where that mole I've had for so long is. The mole my gym friend who has had melanoma worries over when she spots it just days after my exam, and each time she sees it the next couple weeks. Which is why I call to schedule another appointment - and another payment. "No, I do not want to see Dr. _____ again. I want a second opinion."

So now the strange thing on my face and the benign mole on my back have been removed, and I just had my first exam by my new primary physician - a WOMAN- yes! I wore briefs under my yoga pants.

The photo above taken at Appalachicola, Florida (panhandle)