Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Out, out damn spot

So I’ve had this tiny little mole on my nose for about a year. It really was tiny, but I thought it was getting bigger and when I looked down my nose with my left eye, you know because you’re always needing to do that, I could see its little raised self. 

As with anything on your face, it felt magnified and enormous to me and I wanted it gone. Gone.

I had a hard time getting into the doctor in South Africa.  When I finally did it was a GP and I was more concerned about the allergic reaction that had caused little bumps to appear all over my face.  My face is having a rough go of it these days.

I thought with Brazil being the plastic surgery capital of the world and all, I was probably better off to wait to until Rio to see someone about removing my little friend anyway.  This is the tip of my nose, people. One slip of the knife and I could lose the only nose I have or at least a large portion of it.

My first attempt had me waiting in a “mall doctor”  waiting room for hours.  No one at the front desk spoke English and they had to call a girl from the back to take my information.  I may have told her 20 times I didn’t have any “documents” before finally realizing she meant my drivers license.  I should have realized as soon as I walked into a mall that it wasn’t going to turn out well, but dang it I wanted this mole gone! After waiting for hours after my appointment time and watching about 8 people come in after me and be taken back I decided to ask.  After they called the translator back up front she told me she didn’t know when the doctor could see me.  I had caught a glimpse of ye olde mall doctor a few minutes earlier and she was wearing earrings the size of a child’s shoe.  I said “obrigada” and walked out.

I thought, okay- I’ll just wait until London since there won’t be a language barrier.  Turns out there is a medical care barrier though and I was advised by my friends living there that I’d probably never get in to see a dermatologist.

Going to the doctor is supposed to be fairly easy for us.  We have this number to call, we tell them where we are and what’s wrong and they get us an appointment with an English speaking doctor who doesn’t reuse needles.  Only once has it been even slightly easy and even though I don’t believe the guy reused needles, I did play medical charades with a Greek physician for about an hour- “frac-ture, bro-ken…you know breaky, breaky”.  They never even found me a doctor in South Africa, we finally just asked someone at the Wife’s office.

That’s why I had gone to the “mall doctor”.  It was a recommendation from one of the Wife’s clients.

When that failed I had to call the number. 

They did find me a doctor.  They actually found two, but the first one didn’t speak English.  The second one did, but his receptionist didn’t speak a word. Our friend called and made the appointment for me with her.

When I walked in on Monday she immediately starting laughing.  Through her laughter she was wheezing out my name.  We both continued to laugh through the entire check-in process.  She would talk away at me, look up to see me still giving her the “I don’t have a clue as to what you are saying” face and laugh even harder.  She even thought my drivers license was hilarious.  As she typed my address in she had tears coming down her face.  I loved this woman.

The actual appointment went fine.  The doctor spoke English very well and even knew medical terms.  He was, however, really old- like probably in his 70’s, which normally I like in a physician.  I like a doctor who has some practice under his belt.  I want someone who has seen it all.  However, I was there to potentially have something cut off the tip of my nose and no matter how sharp your brain may still be, your body can betray you. I watched his hands like a hawk through our preliminary consult in his office. I was ready to bolt at the first tremor. 

We went back to the exam room and he proceeded to burn my tiny little mole right off.  Easy. Peasy.  2 continents, 4 potential doctors, numerous phone calls and hours of waiting later and it was gone in two shakes of a lambs tail.  No shot, no knife, no horrendous gouge out of my nose.

I do have a little scab which I’m sure will be very visible in photos this upcoming weekend. But hey, when I look down my nose with my left eye, as I do so often, I don’t see anything except my nose.


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