I was rather bespeckled when I was a kid. I had so many freckles, in fact, that a neighborhood boy threatened on many an occasion to hold me down and connect the dots.
As I grew into my teenage platform shoes, the freckles began to fade, and a slight case of acne took its place. Making those angst filled teenage years extra special.
Eventually the acne receded, except on special occasions. And what I’m left with now are age and sun spots. Because I now live in the sunshine state, I like to do what all Floridians do and see my dermatologist once a year. All those years of youthful sunbathing using SPF 0 baby oil have really paid off.
I had my annual check-up today. Last year I experienced the joys of having a suspected cancerous spot scraped, and then burned off. Leaving an unsightly scar right in the middle of my chest. Which serves as a reminder to use sunscreen anytime I’m going to be out in the sun longer than my allotted Vitamin D enhancing 20 minutes.
I entered the examining room and was told by the nurse to put on the requisite hospital gown, opening to the back, and leaving my bra and underwear on was optional.
Frankly, given the choice, leaving my bra and underwear ON is never an option. They are staying firmly in place. Because that’s how I roll.
She left the room to offer me some privacy, and it was then that I noticed the hospital gown was replete with dried blood stains. Oh, it had been washed, that was clear. But, still. CHECK PLEASE.
I searched for a hasty retreat. But she gently knocked to see if I was ready.
READY FOR WHAT? My mind went to the dark place, as I spied all manner of surgical equipment and flame throwers on the sterilized tray.
I dutifully sat on the examining chair, as my dermatologist whisked into the room flanked with a physicians assistant and an assistant to her assistant. All women. Praise the Lord.
My dermatologist looks all of about 22 with perfect skin. She wasted no time commencing with the exam. From the top of my head, down to the undersides of my feet. And all areas in-between. In fact, I’m not sure why I was given the blood spattered gown at all, because before I knew it, the gown lay rumpled beside me, and everyone in the room was looking here and there and all sorts of places that I didn’t think would be a place where skin cancer might hide. And frankly, no one cared that I opted to leave my bra and Hanes Everyday underdrawers ON.
There was one particular spot that she pointed out to me that was located in an area SO SENSITIVE I told her that if she had to fry the spot off, she may as well sedate me. She told me to keep an eye on the spot.
No can do. Out of sight, out of mind.
In the end, she zapped a couple of suspicious spots off of my shoulder. I could smell my own burning flesh. My dreams of summer time tube tops going up in smoke.
The whole humiliating ordeal examination lasted no more than 4 minutes.
And then they all hastily retreated out of the room. Leaving me alone clutching my blood spattered hospital gown, muttering, “what just happened to me?”
I made my next yearly appointment for February of 2012. Giving me plenty of time to forget the entire experience. Very much like I was apt to do in-between pregnancies.
So ladies, have you made your yearly appointment to get checked under the hood (Mammogram, Pap Smear, and Dermatologist)? Do it. Your future depends on it.