Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I had to visit a doctor the other day. Apparently I have a mole on my face that has gone awry and needs to be removed. Cancer cells in a mole, can you believe it? But before I could even raise my eyebrows in surprise, my doctor assured me it wasn't the kind that spread, nor the kind that kills you. It just makes for an ugly mole.
Anyway, I went to see a plastic surgeon to see about the removal. I almost wanted to see if he would look for a mole on the other side of my face so I could get a symmetrical nip/tuck while he was at it.  It's always weird to me that we work with our doctors so often and are comfortable with our relationship with them. But when we have to see a surgeon, we get a brief visit, then maybe a quick hello right before getting put to sleep and going under the knife. There was one time in college when I was still on my parents insurance policy. I needed to have a surgery done on my thyroid over the winter break from school.  All arrangements had been made between my doctor in Phoenix and the surgeon in Winslow. I never met him until I was about to be operated on. He came in as I was already prepped for surgery. To set up this scene, I need to mention that this was 1982 when white men, for some odd reason, thought it was fashionable to have permed afros. This reputable surgeon came in with a crazy, clown-like afro, a plaid western shirt and wranglers, and overall just had an odd body shape type - somewhat big upper body, and VERY skinny hips and legs. As they were putting a mask over my mouth to put me to sleep, I shot a wide-eyed questioning look to my dad about the comical appearance of the surgeon who was about to take a scalpel to my neck! Luckily he came with a very good reputation of being one of the best surgeons in northern Arizona and I had a successful surgery with no complications.Except for that 2 minute visit with "Dr Afro", I never saw him again.
So, this procedure is going to be quick and easy, I hope. It's just done with a local anesthetic and I can drive myself home afterwards. But - while I was in the doctor's office, his nurse comes to check me in and review my papers before the doctor came in. She sees the first line in my folder and reads it out loud - "mole on left cheek near ear".  I have to say, if you looking at it from across the room, it is not big and ugly enough to make you do a double take at its deformity. BUT if you were of the medical persuasion and if you were looking at my left cheek near my ear, you would easily recognize a problem mole.  There are no other moles on that half of my face, nor are there any freckles anywhere in the vicinity. It is one mole on a clear patch of skin with nothing else to confuse it with. Therefore, this nurse takes a big purple marker and draws a large purple circle around it and then leaves and says the doctor will be in momentarily.  My father in law had come along for the ride and he just laughs at me and my purple marking.
The doctor comes in and looks at the mole. He reviewed the procedure with me and I told him that the spot was a tiny bit infected since it was sliced for a biopsy the week before. He prescribes an antibiotic and reached for the paper towel dispenser - the rough, brown, handwashing type, and wiped the purple off my face. Except it didn't wipe off, it smeared across my face, and most assuredly wiped into the wound that I had just told him was open and sore 60 seconds earlier, so I'm sure there was purple oozing directly into my bloodstream. Then he tried to wipe the smear which just made a another downward smear clear down to my jawline. A third of my face was now purple. We just started laughing and I asked what the heck kind of marker was that? He finally gave up and said I could use the sink to clean it off. After he left, I had to dunk my head in the sink and scrub it again and again until it was nearly bleeding and the purple was faint enough that I could walk through the waiting room and out to my car.
There is no point to this post except the silly nurse didn't need to mark up my face, and surgeons should never perm their hair.
The end.


Lauri said...

You have the most random happenings in your life. Never mind about my last comment regarding a boring life when your children leave home.

Becky Cook said...

Ha ha, that is such a great story! I am glad you told us, even though you might not like it while it is happening.