I may be getting a little personal here, but I’m a very mole-y person. I always have been. Lot of little brown spots adorn my otherwise perfect specimen of a human body (ha ha ha ha HAAAAA). As is customary to someone like myself, I had my annual full-body check by my dermatologist today to look for cancerous and pre-cancerous moles.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever been through this process before, but it ranks up there with some of the more humiliating medical procedures to endure. You know your dignity is flying out the window any time a nurse hands you a paper sheet and says, “When I come back with the doctor, make sure that’s all you’re wearing.” I also find it funny the way doctors greet patients in that type of situation. Mine said, “Hello, Michael. How are you today?” I chuckled and said, “About as good as a man sitting on a table wearing a paper sheet can be.” He found that humorous, and I was glad I could entertain.
I’ve been body mapped a few times, and each time I really impress the doctors with my geographical pigmentation. The first time was when I was going into the Army. I thought they were screening me for cancer, but when I asked they told me it was so they could identify me if they only found pieces of me. They assured me I’d be easy to identify.
Technology has really changed this procedure, though. In the past, there were little sketches of a human that the nurse would draw on as the doctor made comments about varying identifying features. Now they capture it all on digital camera! Not only do you get to sit on a table wearing a paper sheet, but then they stand you up and walk around you taking pictures! The nurse said, “Don’t worry, I won’t put these on Facebook or Youtube or anything.” I tried a little guilt trap and asked her why she would bring that up if I hadn’t mentioned being worried. Her silence actually did worry me.
The highlight of the visit is the pulling out of previous year’s pictures to compare them with my current status to look for changes. The doctor thumbed through the photos really quickly, then stopped on one and made an odd “Hmmmm…” Giving me just enough time to get worried, he turned the photo over and showed it to me and said, “Look at the way the light was coming in off of the mini-blinds when they took this photo. The way it casts a shadow across [body part censored] is almost… artistic…” Again, I was glad to entertain.
As the nurse gave me permission to re-robe, she opened the door to the room and stood there for a little bit. I started to scramble for the sheet and made a comment about covering up when she had the door open. She replied, “No one ever comes back to this area” as she continued to hold the door open. I was reassured for a split second before I remembered that I, in fact, was in that area. If that was the case, it couldn’t be true that no one ever comes back there. As I looked up to make that joke with the nurse, I realized I was instead looking at a bearded, flannel-and-camo-hat wearing, definitely a hunter/tough guy that had somehow managed to get back into the area that no one ever goes into. Our eyes met for a second, which was really awkward. After the second or third person passed the door, the nurse finally decided to close it and let me get dressed.
So, the end result is no cancer/pre-cancer this year. The good news is, I only have to wait 12 more months before I get to do it all again.