Connecting the dots

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.

As if.

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.

February 10, 2011

9 Responses to Connecting the dots

  • How ironic….saw Dr. M today! Will go back to him for 2 out of the 3 in a couple weeks. He was great!

  • How odd – I had my first AK (that’s what he called it – it’s short for some long gobbledygook word that means “not cancer yet” frozen off yesterday and now have a monster blister on my arm. Thank goodness it’s winter and I can wear long sleeves so that everyone isn’t freakin out at the size of this thing.

    Mysti – fellow freckled person that will be going once a year from now on.

  • In place of the Pap Smear (plumming removed years ago) I added in the eye doctor because I am in bifocals now and so I can not see without them at all. And yes, I’ve been to all 3! The mammogram took 3 visits because I am built “funny” you know. At least something about me is funny.

    • OH I measnt to say that I have been to 2 of the 3. Not gone to the Dermatologist. I live in the nort and we have not seen the sun in weeks, just snow. Don’t think I can get much from the snow (except frosebite) Sorry about that.

  • Because I lost my father to melanoma 9 years ago (he was only 58) I can say that this is something very important, even though it is uncomfortable. After his diagnosis, I went and had several moles removed, one of which required 14 stitches on my thigh. Yep, that was a purdy one…. Thankfully, they were all benign. But, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Thank you, DeeDee for the reminder! Now if I could just get out of that pesky PAP…..

  • Yes, I go for all three faithfully. Dermatologist is due in March. As for our northern friends, the sun reflects the snow much like beach sand. You may not be AS susceptible as those of us who have lived in Florida or other sunny climates all of our lives but you still need to go every year!

    I’m sorry. If I noticed blood on the gown I would have been digging in the drawer for a new one and pointing out why when they came in.~~~ Shiver!~~~ That is just gross!

  • I am glad to see your post. I just told the moms in my homeschool group to get their Pap smears done. I lost one of my best friends to cervical cancer four years ago. She kept putting it off, waited 2 years and then it was too late! So I say all that to let you know I’m with you Dee Dee, pretty fanatic about it. So everyone get their stuff done, okay?!

  • My age spots are showing up on my face. Oh joy! I was worried about the spot, but my dermatologist assured me I was just getting old. My new best friend is erase paste from benefit skin care. Miracle stuff I tell you. Thanks for the reminder. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been checked ‘under the hood’ as you put it, since my hysterectomy well over a year ago. Not having to worry about THAT stuff any more…well, I kind of forget about all the other stuff.

  • check, check, and check. Went to appointments, completed appointments and made 2012 appointments. I try and do mine in January so that as the events of my life take over through out the year I can forget the terribleness of January. JK. But I am done for the year!