There I was wrapped in a sheet looking like I could crash a toga party or audition for the ghost in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Either of those options sounded better than the real reason for the Grecian attire. Unfortunately, I was there for my semiannual skin cancer check with my dermatologist.
Like with so many bad habits, all those years broiling myself at the beach eventually caught up with me. Now I’m stuck with body checks that would make even the most ardent nudist blush.
I suppose that the examinations are really not that bad. First off, I have a female dermatologist. For those of you wondering why I’d make a big deal over the gender of my doctor, you probably have not had the pleasure of submitting to a really thorough skin check. Please note the emphasis on the word thorough.
The good doctor is nothing if she is not thorough. She always examines every square inch of me and I’m talking every square inch. From the bottom of my feet to the top of my scalp and all the territory in between. Describing that territory as vast may be a bit over the top but sizable seems to aptly cover it.
To add a little more embarrassment to the already compromising procedure, a nurse observed the skin check and marked the medical record. To keep my mind off the detailed scrutiny, I amused myself by imagining what she scribbled in my chart.
Over 50 female with freckled skin.
Then she erased her notes and started again,
Female (that was a safe fact) on the very dark side of 50 with freckled skin.
The nurse paused and corrected.
Female, on the very dark side of 50, with a veritable road map of freckles crisscrossing her terrain like a couple of AARP vacationers in an RV, making a cross county trip.
My doctor made it her business to detour and thoroughly examine every artifact that looked slightly suspicious. She enthusiastically snapped photos of the particularly interesting ones and added them to the scrapbook so that we could compare them on my next visit.
But no trip is complete without a souvenir! We ended our all-inclusive tour with a few specimen scrapings. Sort of like mining for precious minerals out West.
I struck gold when I got the good news that the freckles were only freckles. I celebrated by thoroughly slathering myself with SPF 50 sunscreen and sitting under a sizable umbrella.