Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"You look kinda moley."

I can't believe I haven't shared this with you yet.

Recently, I bit the bullet.

As a teenager, I was blessed in that I never really suffered from serious acne. As an adult, I've had "bouts" of acne, much like any other person. You know - hot date, the week of your wedding, someone else's wedding, the night of that holiday party, etc. Anytime when you really wanted to look good for some reason.

Then, there were the hormone-induced acne breakouts. One example that really stands out in my memory is when I was first pregnant with the Littlest Princess. I recall complaining to family, friends, coworkers, the girl at Subway (anyone who would listen) about how my face did not look or feel like my own. By the time I discovered my new "physical condition", I had already drug my sorry bootie into Dillard's to seek help from the great, wise Clinique Lady. (Needless to say, my renewed faithfulness in skin care excellence did not last the duration of the pregnancy.)

Now, as I've, apparently, reached another stage of life, my face is changing yet again. (You see, according to my ob/gyn, your estrogen starts to drop once you reach my "advancing age".) Once again, I began to feel like my face was not my own. One day, my sleepy eyes were greeted by FOUR (count'em - FOUR!) brand new blemishes. What on Earth was going on?

After consulting numerous friends (and, of course, the great, wise Clinique Lady) and experimenting with a variety of new moisturizers, cleansers, foundations, and more, I broke down...and appointment...with a DERMATOLOGIST.

This was, you see, a multi-layered issue.

1. I felt a bit, shall I say, shallow. I mean, acne is PURELY cosmetic, right? Am I really that shallow that I need to see A DOCTOR -- A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL -- so that my face won't have four pimples? Apparently, yes.

2. Visions of my mother danced in my head. "How long has this mole been there? Are you sure it has always been there? You should see what your doctor says about it. You know, we all should go to get a skin check every year." Have I really reached this point in my life? The DOCTOR stage? The stage where you start scheduling your annual physicals, routine tests, bloodwork, mammograms, and skin checks?

Whatever. My vanity overcame my fear and avoidance of responsibility, I guess.

On the fateful day of said appointment, knowing I needed to take Big Girl with me, I was sure to pack her DS into the car as we left for school. (Insurance for good waiting room and examining room behavior. Thank goodness, it worked! She was completely entertained.) I also had planned ahead and printed all the new patient paperwork from the website and completed it in advance, in hopes of avoiding the usual 15-20 minute delay on your first visit to a new doctor. Additionally, this will surely shock you, they called me back right away! (I know! I nearly fainted!)

I can recall thinking, "They're going to laugh me out of this office. Isn't it just the way of acne? When you don't want it -- it's there. When you DO want it -- it goes away?" You see, of course, my recently renewed efforts towards excellence in skin care had, for a day or two, been working like a charm. I was, temporarily, looking like myself again.

So, as I followed the nurse into the examining room and she handed me a paper gown, I felt the need to explain.

"OK. Here's your gown. You can get changed and the doctor will be just a moment," she directed.
"OH, um, I'm here for an acne visit. Do I really need to do this?"
"Hmmm, I show you as a skin check. Well, um...." she quickly scanned the little bit of exposed skin around my collar bone (it was a cold day in hell Florida that day) and replied, "you look pretty moley. She's gonna want to check you out."

WHAT?!? I look pretty "MOLEY"? I'll have you know that those are FRECKLES, lady! Whatever...what do YOU know about skin and moles, Little Miss Know-it-all...

No, I did not say that. I just went along with it, like a good little girl. I sucked it up and stripped.

Little Princess, in her most nonchalant voice, trying to comfort her visibly frustrated mother, announced at this time, "Don't worry, Mommy. I won't laugh at you. Because girls can see girls naked, right?" Gee. Thanks, darling. What support. What a comfort to know you WON'T LAUGH.

After dawning the plush and oh-so sassy paper gown and climbing to the perch atop the examining table, The Doctor arrived. Her bedside manner was so-so. Hello? I'm naked here? Can you try a little harder to make me comfortable? Crack a joke or something?

After initial introductions were over (7.8 seconds), I started into my modest explanation and apology for scheduling an acne appointment with such, obviously, minor troubles. I carefully explained that, while I had not anticipated this, the nurse had instructed me to disrobe and prepare for a skin check. Surely she would take pity on me and instruct me to re-robe while she stepped out....this was, after all, completely unnecessary.

"Well, let's just take a look."

Rats! Foiled again!

I stand, baring my backside to my (not laughing) daughter, as she carefully inspected my body -- arms, hands, feet (top and bottom), legs, scalp, neck, back, chest (including INSIDE my bra), and basically everything in between. While she did not use a fine-toothed comb, she did feel the need to go retrieve her dramatascope. (Ok. Since that, right now when I Googled it to find out how to spell it...I learned that it is actually called a "dermatoscope" - which makes sense. However, I could have sworn she said "DRAMAtascope" - which is much more DRAMAtic.)

OK, ready for another shocker? She used the dermatascope to inspect my three very dark freckles (I am NOT moley!) on my lower back....the same three that my mother inisted I have "checked out". After a little hemming and hawing, taking some measurements, and creating some drawings (which were nothing like Leonardo DiCaprio's art in Titanic), she announced they were probably nothing, but she'd like to check them again in six months to be sure.

NOW. Onto the problem at hand -- those unsightly blemishes! Well, remember how I made a point to apologize to her?

"I know this is really not bad, it's just that it's bad FOR ME." I went on to explain the biography of my face, what interventions I had already tried, and my rationale for finally resorting to a medical option. Her reaction?

"Oh, you DEFINITELY have some pretty inflammatory stuff going on."

Thank you very much, ma'am, for kicking my ego down a notch...again. I really needed that.


  1. LMAO...I can't believe you've been keeping that story from us! I think this is my new favorite blog post of yours. And BTW, I am definitely *not* going to the dermatologist now for this thing on my finger because I too am extremely freckly and don't want to find out that I'm actually moley. LOL. So did she give you the goods for your blemishes?

  2. Thanks, Cheryl. I really haven't been "keeping" it from just (amazingly) had not occurred to me to write about it until it came up in conversation this week. (It was a bit of a "duh" moment.) As for the thing on your finger -- I will enable you, as I know that is what you look for in a friend. :) DON'T GO...unless it gets red or sore or changes shape or something else suspicious. (Us freckly girls gotta stick together.) As for the goods, yep. I got a tiny jar of cream that - without prescription coverage - would cost me over a hundred buckaroos. It's doing :)I need to consult (again) with my friend, the great and wise Clinique Lady.

  3. okay, got one better for you....I use to go on a regular basis and they had a few moles they wanted to watch. I had to strip down, have them scan my entire body (including my scalp), then they would take PICTURES of my nakedness and moles to compare at future visits. Then that lead to having moles removed every 6 months so I stopped going. That was until I had to have the cancer removed from the tip of my nose and (recently) forehead. I still don't go as often as I should.
    Tracy C (Chets)

  4. I love your blog design! Cute, simple and classy! Just stopped over from McMommy Chronicles :)

  5. @Noob Mommy Thanks for stopping by! Come back anytime! :)


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