I guess I went about 60 years before ever visiting (interesting word choice) a dermatologist, a.k.a. skin doctor.
That was at the recommendation of my GP, a.k.a. General Practitioner, or my family doctor, located deep in South Philly, where I lived for a decade. This was known as my faux mob period, as I had certain connections to the underworld that I won’t dwell on.
Dr. Vince saw something on a body part that he didn’t “like the look of, ” and sent me packing to a skin doc. As it turned out, the thing Vince didn’t like was not cancerous.
That was the diagnosis on Wednesday, too, after the derm doc carved a chunk out of my forehead for an instant biopsy. (In this case “instant” was an hour, but I had the time to spare.)
Anyhow, over the years I have made semi-annual visits (there’s that word again) to the skin people, “just in case.”
Mostly I am examined by a vivacious, red-haired physician’s assistant who goes over me with a lighted magnifying glass, with the same intensity Half Pint uses when checking Nut Bag for ticks.
We both enjoy it.
The exam requires me to disrobe (that is high-faluting for get naked), which would have embarrassed me once upon a time, but after three marriages and numerous surgeries, modesty goes out the window.
And the physician’s assistant, whom I will call Alice, doesn’t embarrass easily, but she did insist I wear the paper gown with the opening in the back. You learn something new every day.
If she finds something she doesn’t “like the look of, ” she whips out an iPad and takes a photo of it, perhaps for future publication in a book of semi-celebrity skin eruptions. Or maybe not.
The last time I was in, the “something” was more worrisome than most, so I was asked to return to have the MD dig out a sample for evaluation. It could take up to four hours if it was bad news.
It was half of that, because the biopsy showed no cancer, although I must make a command appearance in three months for a check.
The other good news? I was told to avoid exercising for a week for fear of popping some of the stitches holding my forehead together.
Some days are just winners.