TGIALW. (Thank God It's A Long Weekend.) This week was... I can't even. Dentist appointment. Angry clients at work yelling at me, followed by angry staff yelling at each other. Step-dad-generated unnecessary drama: two incidents, on Wednesday and Thursday. Generally depressing weather following by an ice storm. Hormones. Existential angst. Etc.
Alongside all that, I had my annual, dermatological mole check.
**If you are LL Cool Joe, you are officially excused from reading the rest of this post, as it contains some medical details which could give you the heebie jeebies. Everyone else will probably be okay; it's not super-gross.**
I have never minded going for my mole check, because there's nothing to it. Show up, put on a paper gown, get looked over by the nice lady doctor, get dressed, and go home. No injections, no blood draws, nothing invasive or embarrassing. Until this time, obviously.
Last year she took a photo of a funky mole on my left arm that's shaped like a donut. This year it had gotten a little darker. She looked at it through a magnifier and pronounced that it looked "completely fine", but that she'd like to take it off just to be safe.
"Lie down on your right side, and I'll grab my sharpest knife so that I can gouge that sucker out of your skin right now." I am paraphrasing, but that's the essence of what she said.
What could I do? People have died of melanoma on both sides of my family. When the dermatologist tells me that she wants to cut me, I'd better go along with the plan. Dammit.
It didn't hurt. I got a local freezing, and after that I couldn't feel a thing. That didn't stop me from having an anxiety attack, because that's just how I roll.* The doctor was super-sweet to me. She put a cold cloth on my forehead, got me a cup of water, and patted my leg maternally. When I continued to shake, sweat, and hyperventilate, she asked her just-as-nice receptionist to come and keep me company so that she could move on to her next patient. The receptionist gave me cookies, and did a great job of distracting me from myself so that I could settle down.
*I did warn the doctor, before she even gave me the local freezing, that I might go faint on her because of my medical phobia. It's not within my control once I get triggered, but at least she had fair warning. I do what I can with soothing self-talk, but I can only prevail for so long against my hyper-terrified subconscious and clearly very effective adrenal glands.
I survived, finally got my act together, and fled the office, with instructions to get the stitch removed in ten days. The teeny-tiny wound isn't sore unless I accidentally knock it against something.
Now I am minus one dot, which is weird. All my life I have been accumulating brown spots. I have never lost one before. I wonder if my arm will look significantly different to me without it. RIP dot! You will be missed.