Monday, July 18, 2011

The Ambush

When my Dad was alive, he had a couple of skin melanomas.  A couple or several years ago, I thought it would be wise for me to go to the dermatologist and get a "mole mapping" (sounds ticklish) with this family history.  The male dermatologist that I went to had a personality comparable to my sofa.  We mapped, he received a ridiculous sum of money for what felt like 2 whole minutes and I went home.  Recently, I again began to think about family health history and the need to take better care of myself.  I wasn't thrilled with going back to the sofa, but did some research and he was pretty much it for this area.  He has a huge practice, so, I put the personality aside and made an appointment.  Then the fun began.

I had no idea what to expect.  Once you're mapped, are you remapped, driven on?  He has a new office in this tiny town's only skyscraper.  I think it is 3 stories tall.  This complex looks ridiculous in our quaint little downtown.  It's one of those buildings that has offices, shops and condos for people who want to conveniently live in a downtown that rolls up its sidewalks at dusk.  In a town that maybe has 6000 people, everyone is only minutes from downtown...This complex has a parking deck.  Funny.  My son lives in Atlanta, so I am familiar with parking decks.  Trust me, we do not need a parking deck in Mayberry.  When I was confirming my appointment with the receptionist, I asked for directions to his office.  When she stated "once you have parked in the parking deck", I giggled as I thought she was making a joke.  She wasn't.  I drove into the concrete parking deck for my appointment and there wasn't another vehicle anywhere.  There were no signs or any indication where one should park so I just smiled and parked in the  middle.  When I got out of my car, it was a little creepy as there were no cars, no people, no signs, no nothing.  I saw a door and walked through.  Again, no signs, no people, no nothing.  I walked down the deathly quiet hall searching for my mapping sofa and found a door with his name on it.  I entered to a reception room with again, no people.  The receptionist immediately greeted me and asked me to sit down as someone would be right with me.  My behind hadn't touched the chair before a door opened and a nurse called my name-like there were other people in the room.  I laughed a little and made some offhand comment like "she wasn't kidding when she said someone will be right with you".  She just smiled.  She brought me to a room that was way too big to be a patient room.  It was at least 4-6 times bigger than any exam room I have ever been in.  She gave me a lovely paper gown and asked me to strip.  She floated out like a cartoon character and I giggled again.  A few seconds later, I was stripping as told in this humongous room with no dressing area or place to put your clothes and the doctor knocks quickly and walks right in before I have a chance to answer.  I'm bending over in underwear I hadn't expected to be public in and my paper ensemble is laying on the floor and hasn't even been pulled apart yet so you can get your arms through it.  You know how they are all stuck flat together.  If you are a woman you know.  I looked up and he is beet red.  I'm thinking omg, you only have one patient, how could you not know I have only had 2 seconds to prepare for your entrance!  Let's just say I did not look like this.....

He backs out, composes himself and re-enters a few minutes later.  I am standing there in this too huge room and he asks me if I am having any "issues".  I reply no.  He asks me to sit in a dentist's chair.  He peers at my arms and legs and doesn't say a word.  Sofas do not speak much.  I'm staring straight ahead and he makes his first statement.  "I like patients to come on a regular basis.  You should come annually."  I say "ok".  He starts looking at the right side of my face and I am looking forward so I can't see him.  All of a sudden I get this sharp stinging sensation like something has bitten me on my cheek.  I quickly look to the right and my face is stopped short by a cold space gun.  The sofa says, "it hurts, doesn't it".  I'm sort of in shock and as I am laughing a little I mention something like maybe you should have warned me you were going to do something.  Before I could hardly get that out, he had done it again.  Feeling somewhat attacked, with wide eyes I ask "what are you doing?"  "Age spots-you don't want those".  In my mind I am thinking well, maybe not, but they were mine and I think you should ask first...I am passive, probably too passive-so I didn't say anything.  Remember he had the gun.

He walks his rolling stool over to the left side of my face without standing up.  Then I hear, "hmmm, I'm not so sure about this one".  As I turn my face toward him to ask what the hmmm is all about, it is greeted with a huge needle.  My passive self went away and I boldly asked him what he was doing and I honestly wanted to say what the @^%# are you doing???  The sofa then found his words to let me know he thought we should biopsy a spot.  I said, oh and he proceeded to jam the needle into my face.  No this may hurt, brace yourself or nothing.  Quickly that half of my face no longer belonged to me and I am assuming he took a knife to do something but I didn't feel anything.  He abruptly gets up, states it will take a week or so for the results and says the nurse will be in.  He walks out like Tin Man and the cartoon character nurse floats back in.  I am bandaged, given instructions on how to care for my wounds and on my merry way...

Sitting back in my car, I had the uncontrollable urge to laugh hysterically.  The entire experience from never seeing people to ending up with half a dead face and the other half stinging painfully was nothing like I expected remapping to be.  It was all so surreal.  From the time I got out of my car until the time I got back in, 17 minutes had passed....


  1. I thought my surgeon was bad!! Every time I ask him a question, he says: "What do you think?" As far as personality, he must be related to your doctor.
    That is ridiculous!! I hope that everything comes out fine. My two neices both have skin cancer so it is definitely something to check out, but he could have been a little more compassionate.

  2. Yes, I know who you are talking about as I made Eli go for a check since he works outside all the time. He had the exact same experience (well, maybe not exactly the same......) and had an ambush mole removed on his leg but thought the same thing about the sofa type personality. It's a shame, as now I don't think I will ever convince him to go back. P.S. I love blog stalking you - you are so entertaining :)

  3. I have enjoyed this post so much I read it out loud to my sister and husband, laughing hysterically the entire time. Sorry that we were laughing at your expense but you are a hilarious writer.

    I tend to giggle when I'm nervous (well, sometimes I cry but I try to avoid the tears) so I completely understand how you couldn't defend yourself.

    Hope all is well.

  4. Thanks for the comments! Anna-hopefully Eli will read this. It helps to validate our feelings if someone else has had the same experience! The biopsy was fine and hopefully my scars will fade one day...Don't apologize for the laughter-it's absolutely the only way we get through this life. I can't imagine dealing with what life throws at us without a sense of humor.

  5. Whoa! That's crazy! I would be lodging complaints and writing angry reviews!

  6. Elizabeth you are a talented writer. Humor is the only way to survive and flourish. Your recount of this experience was a reminder of how this is important.

    I know that building. I dind't know it had a parking garage under it. I think I will laugh everytime I drive past now. It really is like builing one in Mayberry.

    I am glad the test turned out fine.

  7. Well, I guess at least next time you'll know what to expect...maybe! I'm now following you!


  8. Good to have you, Annette! I will know what to expect next time-assuming there is a next time :)

  9. Had to join so I could tell you how hilarious this is! I really did laugh out loud! Thank you!

  10. Thank you, Patsy! It wasn't so funny then, but I can certainly laugh about it now!