Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cavity Searches and Pimples

I had a very traumatic experience at the dermatologist's office yesterday.  And I thought, 'What could make me feel less embarrassed than sharing this story on the world wide web?'  I can't think of a thing.

When I walked in, I saw two of my friends sitting in the waiting room.  One sign that you are getting older is that you see your buddies at the dermatologist's office.  Soon, we will move on to even better hangouts like Bingo Night at the Elk Lodge.
I was a little concerned about a couple of moles, so I had made an appointment for a full body exam.  Since I am not getting any younger and camels have had less UV exposure, I felt that it was time for some long-overdue preventive care.

As it turns out, "full body exam" is not a misnomer.  I laid on the examination table, completely undressed, strategically positioning a three-foot-by-three-foot square of tissue paper, and trying to hold onto what was left of my dignity.

The dermatologist shined a light as bright as the sun across my body and then examined every mole and freckle from here to there.  No, really.  Practically a full cavity search.  I have felt less violated by TSA.

Then, similar to an OB-GYN, he wanted to make small talk during the exam.  Can we please wait until after I am dressed to discuss the Braves?  I know, for him, I'm just another patient.  But for me, I'm too busy pretending that I am not mortified to carry on a casual conversation right now.

Somewhere between discussing the leaves changing and Olive Garden, he said, "We should really talk about how we are going to treat your acne."

Acne?  But I am 36 years old.  We don't get acne.  We get love handles and gray hairs, but we do not get acne.  Acne is strictly reserved for teenagers and pregnant women.

I never experienced acne when I was supposed to, but now that I should be enjoying beautiful, clear skin before wrinkles join the party, I am hit with the acne bomb.  It's very similar to the acme bomb from Looney Tunes but a lot more destructive.

He said, "It is likely because of hormones.  Do you feel hormonal?"

So I said, "WHAT? Am I hormonal?  WHY WOULD YOU ASK A QUESTION LIKE THAT?  I mean, did I complain when I had to wait 22 minutes in the waiting room today?  No.  And did I give you anything less than all 5's on my patient survey?  I don't think so.  And for the record, Olive Garden SUCKS!  How DARE you accuse of me of being hormonal!"  And then I just burst into tears.

Okay, I'm kidding.  I didn't say any of that.  But when somebody asks you if you feel hormonal, don't they sort of deserve that kind of response?

I left the doctor's office yesterday feeling violated and embarrassed about my acne.  From now on, I will refer to the dermatologist's office as "Prom Night".