i quit...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

nobody gets naked at the dermatologist

Unless you’re me.

Last week, I confessed my hypochondriac worries to my blog audience after reading an article about skin cancer in Glamour magazine. My deep paranoia convinced me to make an appointment with my nemesis, The Dermatologist. (We all remember what went down on my last visit – panic over the large growth on my face and The Dermatologist openly mocking my zits.)

I get to the office yesterday and am immediately looking for reasons to hate the place – the receptionist can’t spell or pronounce my last name after I say and spell it three times (only 5 more months until this is no longer an issue!), an unbelievably crappy magazine selection (I was stuck with December 2006’s Better Homes and Gardens, which is not good since I generally judge the overall credibility of an office by their waiting room reading material), having to sit next to a bunch of acne-ridden teens…

Four pages into my 6 month old Teen Vogue issue, I’m called back. Quick check for the dog photos on the ceiling – still there, still makes no sense. My nemesis enters and I ask her to check the mole (or beauty mark to some, but let’s not kid ourselves) on my nose. I’ve been dying to have the thing removed and the potential for disease seems like a more respectable reason than vanity. No go, the mole looks fine despite my insistence she check it twice. We get to the family history portion of the visit and I let her know I have it in my genes and suddenly I’m told we need to do the full body examine. Basically, I need to strip down. Seriously, nobody gets naked at The Dermatologist. But there I was standing half-naked when the door opens up and the male nurse starts to walk in (because at the derm’s office there is no need to knock, you can just fling open a door BECAUSE NOBODY GETS NAKED AT THE DERMATOLOGIST). The Dermatologist immediately freaks out telling him to leave and shut the door, apologizing profusely for the fact that everyone in the hall got quite an unexpected show. I assure her this is not nearly as invasive as a gynecological exam, which she admits she had never thought of before. I hope for a moment that she does not plan to use that reasoning on the next patient who has to get naked in the office, but then delight in the fact that she might make someone less inappropriate then myself feel incredibly uncomfortable at their next visit.

She comments on how I obviously use sunscreen because my skin tone looks nice aka “Just what we like to see – skin so pale you can see your veins through it!” I respond with, “Sweet, I’m shooting for translucent." (Seriously, I responded with that.) I get the laugh I was going for, followed by the lecture and listing of famous people who are rocking the pale skin thing. First of all, I’m not 12 and therefore not impressed. Second of all, these people are also rocking the obscene amounts of money and fame thing, which trumps pale skin any day.

I’m thoroughly annoyed and near nude at this point (I even had to take my socks off to check between the toes) when I allow this woman to cut a chunk of skin out my posterior truncal (back) region – and then she asks me if I want to see it. Yes, please. I want to see a giant, bloody clump of skin. In fact, could you cut some more off so I can pass it around at dinner. Or maybe proudly display it on my cubicle at work. The Dermatologist is clearly a crazy person.

A crazy person I must now commit to getting naked in front of once a year.


  • At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Rob Shequeta said…


  • At 9:37 PM, Blogger .38 said…

    best blog ever. i laughed so hard i nearly split my hypothetical sympathy stiches.

    also, i should tell you that my dad told his dentist that if he was going to ever come back, he would have to see improved reading material. the dentist listened. food for thought.

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  • At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Jack said…

    Funny article, but I get totally nude at my dermatologist every year for a full body skin check. I'm a guy and have never had an issue with nudity and my female doc is a professional, so she doesn't worry about it. She asked me once a few years ago during my first visit if I had an issue with undressing completely for the exam. I said not at all. From that point on the nurses don't bother giving me a flimsy paper sheet to cover with. I just undress and I'm totally bare when the doc and nurse enter and do the exam. I've even been seen by passers by (nurses and patients) in the hallway when the door opened, but I'm fine with that too, even though I'm a bit overweight. We're all adults and it's not like the doc and nurse aren't going to see all of me anyway.


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