DERMA HORRORS

A TRIP TO THE SKIN DOCTOR

If you’re under 40, you can skip this story altogether. If you’re over 40: read on…

As a youngster, I had beautiful skin. Clear, porcelain-like and unmarked by acne or anything else. My five siblings, however, struggled with the horrors of acne. I felt very lucky. Yeah, I even gloated a bit now and then.

But eventually, Father Time and lack of hormones caught up to me: at around age 45 if I recall. Then the horror started. First it was a tiny spot of skin cancer.

Then cysts, the age spots, the moles, the pimples, the random “goat hairs”, the WARTS, skin tags – and all on my face. I wasn’t just alarmed: I was freaked out.

Thus began the twice a year visits to the dermatologist (whose kids were helped through college by my very frequent donations.)

“Well, Good morning, Mrs. White,” she bounced breezily into the exam room. “How’s fishing? Wearing your sunscreen, I hope.”

Dr. Roman is a no-nonsense, straightforward skin wiz with a knack for sarcasm and a quick wit. She’s also an expert in her field for skin cancer and has removed a small piece of it for me in the past.

I nodded yes as the doctor began her pore by pore exam of my sorry countenance.

“What’s wrong with my skin?”

“Welll, nothing unusual, normal old age stuff, ya know? But no signs of skin cancer re-occurrence” she announced.

“Then why does my face look like somebody walked on it with cleats?”

She looked at me like I was a 5 year old.

“Dear, you’ve got some post-menopausal acne with age-associated problems. Nothing a good laser or chemical peel won’t solve.”

“Laser? Chemicals? Sounds painful.” I muttered.

“No, not that painful, but pricey and not covered by insurance.”

“Okay, so what’s this going to cost?”

“Barring any complications, around $2000 give or take. But there’s some good news, too.”

“There is? Tell me!” I grew a tad excited.

“You don’t have even a sign of turkey neck. Your neck skin is tight and nearly flawless. You’re quite lucky; it’s usually one of the first things that happens to older gals, along with bingo flaps. So congrats on that.”

“Well, thanks Doc.”

I felt like I had just been thrown a left-handed compliment, fastball style.

With that Dr. Frankenstein went on to her next victim.

I couldn’t wait to talk this over with my hubby. As soon as I got in my car, I called him.

“Honey, I don’t have Turkey Neck!” I yelled into the phone when he answered.

“What? What are you talking about?” he sounded puzzled.

“I have no signs of skin cancer, and NO TURKEY NECK. And it’s only going to cost about $2000 dollars for the work I need. Isn’t that great news?”

“Um, sure, but I think you should go back to wearing the brown paper sack over your head when you leave the house,” he said with a snicker in his voice. ”You can buy a lot of brown bags for two grand.”

I’m just going to ignore his teasing, because I have NO turkey neck!

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