Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, December 09, 2005


I had to go yesterday to have a small mole removed from my neck: It was too dark, the dermatologist had said two weeks earlier.

The idea of this squicked me out. I came up with 75 Really Good Reasons to cancel the appointment, but thank goodness for my phone phobia, because I just couldn't pick up the phone and do it. So I showed up, but not without a few dramatics, like telling Baroy that if I died on the table... (He later asked me, "Was there even a table for you to die on?" I stuck my tongue out at him.)

But just because I showed up didn't mean that I was going to behave like a 41-year-old--or even a 21-year-old.

"I'm scared," I told the nurse. "I'm a total pain wuss. How much is this going to hurt?"

"You'll feel a pin prick and maybe a little burning when I put in the lidocaine, but that's it," she replied.

"You know, I haven't been to a dentist in over 25 years," I said. That always gets a reaction, and she didn't fail me. "Is it going to be dentist-bad?"

"Oh, goodness, no," she said. "This is nothing compared to the dentist. But 25 years?"

"I told you I'm a pain wuss," I said.

"I guess so!"

I repeated my little song and dance when my dermatologist came in. There aren't a lot of times in your life that you can watch yourself angling for a particular response as you're doing it, but this was one of them. I knew what I was saying, without saying it: This may be the 12th mole removal you've done this morning, but it's my first one ever, and I need you to take your time and be careful, and maybe treat me a little bit specially. And he did. While the initial appointment had been rushed and impersonal--one of the excuses I'd been turning over in my head for not keeping the appointment, in fact, was that I didn't like his bedside manner--he was friendly and smiling and kept asking me if I was OK, even if the entire thing took less than five minutes, including the stitching.

"Well, I didn't die on the table!" I announced to my office mates when I got back to my desk, less than 45 minutes after I'd stepped away. (The benefits of working on a medical campus include being footsteps away from all of your doctors.)

"Oh, were you supposed to?" one of them asked, laughing at me. (My hypochondriac reputation precedes me pretty much everywhere I go.)

"I know it's not a big deal to you," I said, pulling a face at him. "But this is the..." And then I stopped.

What I was about to say was that this was the first time I'd even had to be stitched up, even if it was just a single stitch. Which is true...if you don't count my TWO c-sections and the DOZENS UPON DOZENS of stitches and staples they had to use to close me up after them.

"This is the what?" he asked.

"This is the absolute proof that I'm freaking insane," I said, laughing, and walked away.

And hence the curtain came down on yet another non-drama in the life of TC.

free hit counter