Monday, April 21, 2008

It's Just a Little 2mm Punch...

As part of my effort to be a more responsible adult, I decided it was time for me to establish medical care with a primary care doctor and to get the various spots and blotches and tingles checked by a dermatologist. Today was my appointment with the dermatologist and it went like this...
Arrive 10 minutes early (I work in a doctor's office after all and know how this new patient stuff can be time consuming) and begin to fill out the paperwork. The receptionist actually gave me two sets of paperwork but was unimpressed at my sarcasm, "do you need me to fill out two sets of paperwork...do I get a discount for that?" I filled out the paperwork and began the waiting process. Their office set up is kind of weird, with the doctor's actual office in plain view of the waiting area and the billing and reception area all open and in earshot, as in I could hear every conversation. Anyhow, I waited just long enough that I was considering a snooze by the time the medical assistant called me back into the exam area.
We got into the room and the first thing I noticed is she never looked at me...she sat at a little table with her head buried in my new chart (containing all my personal information I just filled out like date of birth, meds, allergies, etc.) and began to ask me questions like...what is your date of birth, what are your allergies, what meds are you taking, etc. All the stuff I just wrote down but she was now writing on a separate piece of paper. She then asked me what I was there for and I told her just a quick look at some trouble spots on my skin. She said it sounded like I needed a "skin check-up" and I immediately became a lemming and said, okay, sure! The next thing I know she tells me I can put on a paper gown and wait for the physicians assistant but to leave my underwear on.
So med assistant leaves, she may have glanced back at me on her way out but otherwise she never did make eye contact, and I disrobe and put on the paper garment. I sat on the exam table and the paper garment poofed out, so I squished it down and it crinkled out to the side. I spent the next 15 minutes alone, trying to figure out the damn paper gown and eavesdropping on the office next door (not a medical office next door but someone who didn't know they could be heard). Then the PA walked in and she was eye popping pretty and I was immediately embarrassed to be sitting in a room with a paper garment on and only my boxers. Soon thereafter her assistant came in, a 20-something hottie herself and the experience became surreal. We talked about my skin and I joked about the gown. She told me I could take it off if I was uncomfortable. She asked me lots of questions and I kept thinking, "all I want is for someone to look at this brown spot on my cheek and tell me not to worry, it isn't cancerous". The next thing I knew I had agreed to get three little samples of skin taken from my cheek, my forehead and my scalp. As I lay on my back, with the gown now smooshed and centered over my boxer shorts, I suddenly recalled she had mentioned a three week healing time. I snapped out of my haze long enough to say, do I really need this, I mean all I thought I was going to have was a check-up, not an underwear party with two attractive women". At least that got a chuckle. She assured me it was probably nothing but better to get checked now since I'd never had it checked before. So I let it happen...I got local anesthetic and then they took punch chunks of skin and cauterized two of the holes and sutured my scalp. I should know in three or 4 days what is up with my skin. And for the next three weeks if you see me and notice a few holes in my head, now you know the rest of the story.
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