Those of you who have known me for awhile may remember the unfortunate skin cancer incident of 2004. It you haven’t heard this story, I can—as always—sum it up in a few brief sentences:
I got skin cancer.
I freaked out.
In any case, since then I have to go to the dermatologist once a year for the full body scan which also seems to involve a lot of unnecessary prodding and poking and “We should probably whack a piece of that off and send it to the lab for testing.”
I hate it.
This situation is not noticeably helped by the fact that last year I went in with a lump on my face, terrified that the skin cancer was coming back, and the dermatologist said that, while it wasn’t cancer, she wasn’t sure what it was—maybe a new mole developing.
And about a week or so later, it developed into a huge pimple.
I mean, I’m no expert, but isn’t acne covered in the first week or so of dermatological school?!
However, I was actually glad about the appointment on Thursday because I woke up with a nasty rash all over my chest and face.
A rash that Opie was pretty sure was poison ivy or the like from working in the yard. He was, I’m sorry to report, downright dismissive of my suggestions of leprosy, flesh-eating bacteria, meningitis and West Nile.
Clearly, he doesn’t read enough WebMD.
In any case, if you have to get a disgusting rash, the day you’re already going to the dermatologist is the best day for it to pop up.
Unless, of course, when you get to the doctor’s office the receptionist looks at you in confusion and says “Dr. Rice isn’t here today. She’s out on maternity leave. You should have gotten a letter.”
“I did get a letter,” I assured her—and even pulled it out of my purse. “I got one that confirmed my appointment for today.”
“You should have gotten another one,” she said.
And I didn’t say anything for a long minute, largely due to the fact that I was using all my mental energy to stop myself from punching her in the face.
“She’s on maternity leave,” the receptionist said again. “She won’t be seeing patients until the end of August.”
“Then why did I get a confirmation card?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. Then, like I knew the answer better than she did, she actually asked “Maybe it went out before the letter?”
Some people take this in stride, vow to pray for the person irritating them and continue on without incident. Others roll their eyes and make observations about mind-boggling levels of apathy and incompetence.
In my defense, compared to everything else that I wanted to say—most of which was laced with profanity and involved suggestions that weren’t anatomically possible—this was downright civil.
Much more civil than the tirade that Opie was subjected to when he asked “What did the dermatologist say?”
“I am NEVER going back to that doctor.” I told him. “I don’t care if my skin starts rotting and peeling off in patches. I am NEVER going back to her.”
“I think that’s the only dermatologist covered by our insurance,” he said.
“NEVER!” I shouted.
He hasn’t yet told me that I’m over-reacting but that might be because I kept yelling “Do you think I’m over-reacting, DO YOU?” in a somewhat aggressive manner.
So, in sum, I have an appointment with my regular doctor on Monday, I have been researching rashes on the internet and have added pityriasis rosea and lyme disease to my list of possible illnesses, and Opie brought home 3 different types of anti-itch creams.
But he really wants me to get off WebMD.