The Dermatological Freak Show

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If you ever want to feel like a slightly hideous monster I would suggest a visit to the dermatologist. If, however, you want to up your experience and feel like an unholy abomination, may I suggest going during your fourth week post-partum … while the belly bread dough is still sagging and the boobs stubbornly refuse to stop looking at the floor. Yep, go then.

It all began about a year ago when I was having my first OB appointment with my last pregnancy. I was all “suited up” in a stylish dressing gown and having my body gone over with a fine tooth comb. During said process nurse and nurse-in-training both mentioned that my back looked like a war torn country invaded by moles and that I really needed to have them checked out. I did what I always do when I’m pregnant and pushed it to the back of my mind. I was making a baby; I didn’t need to worry about anything else. Right?

Fast forward to the end of January when I finally went to see the Dermo (this is what I’m going to call her from now on). I figured that if I went while still clearly in the post-partum phase that they would figure I had gained like seventy-five pounds with this pregnancy and be more compassionate to my girth rather than disgusted. The opposite would happen if I went six months later and they saw the truth, that the bread is going permanently un-baked.

I was asked to strip down naked … um, huh? … .and put on another gown. I’m getting to be a real pro at these gowns! Then the Dermo came in and I did all kinds of turning and standing with arms out etc. There were some uncomfortable moments, such as when she checked out my butt cheeks. Also when she asked me to “please lift your breasts”, the time it took to gather up those saggies and heave them out of the way caused some discomfort to both of us.

As she’s wrapping up the body portion of our exam she throws out this self-esteem building little gem. “I can see why your OB was concerned. You’re really moley.”
Uh, thanks? Glad I could keep you in business?

Finally done with the body we moved to the face. One of the catalysts to me finally setting the appointment was a strange growth that had suddenly popped up on the side of my face. I also had a rather beach ball looking brown nasty growth on the side of my neck that my children insisted on playing tug-of-war with and I was hoping to have it removed, stat!

I pointed out said growth on my face. She got out a magnifying glass—not joking—and looked it over. Then she stood up and headed for the door. Was I that nasty?

“Oh, that’s just a wart. I’ll be right back” she said over her shoulder as she left the room.

 A WHAT? Did she just say wart? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure she meant to say, “Dangerous growth that may have been life threatening so it’s good you came in today.”

 She showed back up with a hand held spray can, came right at my face, and froze that sucker before I even realized what was happening.

 ”This totally makes sense that you’d have wart. You live with small children” she says as she’s freezing my face.

How does this make sense? Oh, I get it. Because having small children at home makes you begin to transform into a witch. Gotcha. 

With trembling, embarrassed hands, I pointed to the growth on the side of my neck.

“Oh, that?” she zap freezes it too before saying anything else. “That’s just a skin tag. Should fall off in a few days. If it doesn’t …” she makes a scissor cutting motion with her hand and a noise like a click.

Does this mean I cut it off? I need clarification.

“Um, so I just cut it off?” I say, still reeling from the multiple unexpected freezings I’ve just endured.

“Yep. Just don’t tell me about it” she winks as she’s setting down her freeze-ray-gun and whipping out her pad to write down what she’s just done to me. She winks as though it’ll be our little secret. She winks as though I’m accustomed to cutting growths off my own body with a pair of scissors and it’s “no big thing chicken wing”.

At this point I just sat there feeling like the monster I thought I might be. And then, this song started playing in my head …

I feel pretty … oh so pretty … 
I feel pretty and witty and bright …
And I pity any girl who isn’t me tonight.

I feel charming, oh so charming …
It’s alarming how charming I feel …
I’m so pretty that I hardly can believe I’m real!


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