Last year when I went to the dermatologist the doctor was rather patronizing and blew off my concerns entirely. He even went so far as to mock my legs for being so pale, which I informed him was about as appropriate as a cardiologist teasing a patient for ordering the salad instead of the steak. He had the decency to look somewhat chastened but I’m not going to lie, I was thrilled to hear he had retired and allowed a new doctor to take over his practice.
Meeting Dr. C yesterday got off to a rocky start, since my appointment started about 45 minutes after the scheduled time. I learned during my own appointment this is because Dr. C is AWESOME and takes the time to explain and care for his patients in exquisite detail. Thanks to last year’s experience, I had prepared my speech about why Sketchy Mole had to come out, today if possible, because it was all of the things a freckle should not be: asymmetrical, multi-colored, raised, rapidly growing, and should be biopsied. I wanted to be taken seriously. While I was waiting, I read about his extensive education at Harvard Medical. Being a New England snob of the first order, I was impressed by his pedigree and hoped he had a matching bedside manner.
No problems there, either. After cootchie-cooing with Maggie, he took one look at my leg and said “Well, I’m going to get a closeup, but that little bugger has no business being there!” Then he got out the magnifier and was all “Asymmetrical! Multicolored! That’s coming out today for a biopsy!” and I was all “MARRY ME! I mean oh! Good! Not good that it’s there but good that I worried!” and mentally filed my speech under “Rehearsed Shit I Never Get To Say.” He then proceeded to have me strip down for a full body mapping complete with photographs and two nurses taking copious notes. Well, one took notes and the senior nurse played with the baby and then the doctor tickled her again once he was done.
Then we strapped Maggie into her car seat, the nurses quickly prepped a tray, they popped Sketchy Mole right out and stitched me up in less time than it normally takes Maggie to get pissed about being in her seat. I have to go back in two weeks to have a second freckle on my shoulder removed (how I got that freckle is a story for another day, when I feel like telling you about being electrocuted by an overly enthusiastic aesthetician) and will get the biopsy results then. He kept throwing the word “melanoma” around which to be frank kind of canceled the happy “MARRY ME” vibes I was feeling. But, he also said it was an early catch, likely to be easily treated, and that I should be commended for taking my moles so seriously.
So, forget worrying that you’re a hypochondriac and find a dermatologist who really takes moles seriously. It’s an hour or two out of my life, I don’t have to think about the Sketchy Mole any more and what it’s doing to my body, and I have the sweet and elusive satisfaction of being taken seriously by someone in the medical profession. Win!