Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why is my Face SMOKING?

I love the sun. I spend many, many, many hours in the sun every summer. I never wear sunscreen. I know, I know! You don't have to yell at me. I know. I slather my kids with sunscreen and reapply and try my hardest to make sure they don't get burnt. But me? Well, yeah, um, :::hanging my head in shame:::

So, now that I'm thirty-ten and I know that death is just around the corner, I've been thinking about all the damage I've done to my skin from my years of unprotected sunbathing. So, I made an appointment with a dermatologist so I could be humiliated checked out head-to-toe to make sure I wasn't covered in skin cancer.

My appointment was at 1:45 on Monday. I dropped Brooklyn off at school and cruised over to the doctor's office. I checked in and filled out the required 482 forms.

"I need to make a copy of your insurance card and I need you to fill out these 4000 forms. Front AND back."

I took the clipboard and sat down to begin my novel. "Hmmm, my insurance information? How am I supposed to write down my insurance information when you have my card?" I asked the receptionist. "And better yet, WHY am I supposed to write down my insurance information when you have a copy of it right there? Is it really necessary to have it recorded on every single sheet of paper?"

She mumbled a sympathetic, "I know", but she was really thinking, I don't make the rules, lady. Just fill out the stupid forms so I can go to lunch. I know that's what she was thinking because I'd probably be thinking the same thing if I was in her place.

I finished the manuscript of information, returned the clipboard and sat back down to wait. And wait. And wait. I kept looking at the time, knowing I needed to leave by 2:45 to get Brooklyn. I really thought that allowing an hour for a skin check was enough time. Apparently not. Finally, at 2:30, I was called back into a room. I told the nurse that unless the doctor was ready to come in that second, that I couldn't wait around because I needed to get my daughter. She insisted the doctor would be with me in about 10 minutes. I told her that wasn't good enough and I'd have to reschedule. The nurse was very apologetic, so I spared her my wrath.

I walked to the front desk, informed the receptionist I'd have to reschedule and told her my 'missed appointment' bill would be in the mail. She looked at me and said, "Oh, we won't charge you for missing your appointment."

I laughed and said, "Oh, you misunderstand. I'M charging YOU for missing the appointment. Then, in a Seinfeld moment, said, "See, you know how to make an appointment, but you don't know how to keep an appointment. And really, the keeping of the appointment is the most important part of the appointment." She was less than amused.

So, I returned to the doctor today and only had to wait about a half an hour this time before the doctor walked in. She looked like a life-sized Barbie doll - super-tall, totally thin, swan-like neck, blond hair, perfect skin. I instantly hated her. Did I say that out loud? I meant, I instantly thought that she contained more plastic than Barbie. Oops, I did it again. What I really meant to say was that I instantly thought she was pretty and had been blessed by good genes and the ability to say "no" to cookies.

She did the all-over body check. That was fun. You know, if you like strangers scrutinizing every last inch of your less-than-perfect body. She found a couple of questionable spots and said she'd like to remove them for biopsy. Ok, no big deal. It didn't really surprise me or freak me out. The nurse gave me a couple shots to numb the areas, then the doctor came in with a knife and removed both spots in like 2 seconds. I was ready to hop up and get dressed when the doctor put something on my cheek where she'd just removed the questionable spot.

"Just a minute. I just want to smooth out the edges to make sure you won't have any scarring." I tried to see what she was doing, but couldn't make my old person eyes focus at such close range. And then I smelled burning flesh. I gently inquired as to what was going on. "What the crap are you doing and why I do I smell like I'm on fire?!!!" Apparently, this doctor likes to play with lasers.

I haven't been brave enough to remove the bandaid on my cheek for fear that it's covering a ginormous burned-out crater that will never heal. In all future pictures of me, I'll be leaning my cheek on my left hand and people will think it's just my casual pose, but in reality, I'll be hiding my huge facial deformity.

In the end, the moral of this story is - don't purposely go to the doctor unless you're dying or you may end up with a hole in your cheek.

And, in other news...

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I have another chance to win a $100 Visa gift card from Kellogg's and BlogHer this week HERE.

And finally, you can read my latest post about teaching teens the difference between wants and needs HERE.


WeaselMomma said...

I hope that you heal quickly and without any scarring.

Going to the doc is for the birds.

V1nce said...

Just so you know you were branded like a, uhm, don't know how to put this but you know what cowboys do to cows? Well, yeah, you were BRANDED. Doctors like to put their brand on their unsuspecting patients so other doctors know not to mess with their livestoc-- PATIENTS. Patient wrangling is severely frowned upon by doctos (but oddly enough malpractice aka lop off the wrong toe is encouraged - go figure).

Up to a few years ago they branded their patients the old fashioned way w/a large red-hot metal rod. However, patients who were not properly anesthetized, (probably due to fear of barfing) ran away screaming.

So doctors being quite clever came up with a chemical burn your face method disguised as a harmless lotion or ointment. You apply it in the shape of your brand onto an unsuspecting smarty-pants and it quietly turns into H2SO4 and usually, if you time it right the patient is out of the office when it turns into lava and the screaming doesn't upset their other cattl--PATIENTS.

Sometimes however, the chemicals melt your face off prematurely, but this is usually due to previously severe skin damage commonly due to a lack of suncreen and an overabundance of the use of sarcasm...

Unknown said...

You are so funny...once again. I work for a cosmetic surgeon, it's a "he" though, so I totally understand this whole post. Hilarious. And you were right, the girl at the desk was probably not amused at you ;)

Julie H said...

How funny I was just getting my moles checked out by the dr the other day too. I hate putting sunscreen on my face. ICK it's so gross! Guess where that precancerous mole was??

Katie Lee said...

oh my goodness, now I feel so guilty for not wearing sunscreen. like ever. and I am a waterskiier who is in the sun a lot. But it's so hard to remember and it's sticky and I am so pasty white that I like the freckles the sun brings cus it at least brings me a little color! But, next time I am in the sun, I will think of your flaming cheek and remember to WEAR SUNSCREEN! Hope your hole heals soon!

Jill in MA said...

You had me rolling with your Seinfeld moment! I can't believe the receptionist didn't appreciate that! ;-)

Kim said...

OMG!! Thirty ten, I love it! I'm also "thirty ten", might have to steal it from you :-)
Kim in Aus

Sammo said...

True story: I had a biopsy done on the tippity-tip of my nose, and they had to use a stitch and it *totally* scarred and left a dumb little divot. Long story short - the doc's office gave me free laser treatment to fix it. So, there's that. And, laser treatment on the tip of your nose? Feels like hot pokers in your brain. Awesome.

Carrie said...

I'm only 28 and have already had cancer removed from my nose! You better be better to your skin from now on! But enough of that. Can I just say that I was NOT laughing at your skin smoking because it is SO TRUE! And you can SMELL it!! I actually felt that part. It was awful. I hope for your sake it's not cancerous because if they have to take it out you will have a real hole in your cheek. Which they will try to repair. Ugh... So not fun. Good luck! Here's hoping for good news!

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~L0SERM0M~ said...

Seriously...YOU are friggin HILARIOUS!! THIS is some funny shit!!!

Unknown said...

That made me laugh. I recently went to the dermatologist too since I'm not blessed with skin that tans. Not only did they use a razor to "scrape" my mole (EW) and scare me half to death, I was sent a RIDICULOUS bill for the 15 minutes I spent with the doctor.

Anonymous said...

Gah, I hate when doctors spring stuff on you like that.

I don't even like looking under the bandaid after a blood test.

Sending you Beautiful! Rejuvinated! Glowing! Perfect! powers to fix the gaping hole he may or may not have left in your face x

Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog - and post! It's title drew me in!

Thanks for making me laugh - such a well written post!

I remember as a kid playing with my dads cigarette lighter in his new car. I thought I'd put it to my finger - JUST to see how hot it was! (Teeehee - I know, you don't need to say anything!)

That smell of burning flesh still stays with me! Horrible!

Houdini ;)

On Stage said...

I hate going to the dermatologist! I went in last year for a mole check and found it more humiliating than a trip to the ob/gyn. I, too, had moles removed... it was not fun!

My next appointent is scheduled for Oct. 25th. I'm dreading the visit. There's nothing worse than flip flopping all over the table while they check every inch of you with that little microscope.

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