Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Game No One Wants to Win

Remember how on the Johnny Carson version of The Tonight Show, Johnny and the band would sometimes play a game called "Stump the Band"? Johnny would walk around the audience and if an audience member could name a song that the band didn't know, that person had effectively "Stumped the Band" and then they got some kind of magnificent prize like . . . a year's supply of motor oil or something.

You know what's not a good version of that game? Stump the Dermatologist. I'll try to spare you the most disgusting details, so here's the short version:

The first week of January, I notice something resembling a large, uh, blemish, smack in the middle of my right cheek (the one on my face, pervs!) and I think, "Damn it all to hell, you stupid perimenopause! I've NEVER had acne anywhere but the T-zone! Thanks for nothing, bitches!" Then I begin the usual treatment. After two months, I realize that NOTHING is going to make this thing go away. Nothing. Well - to be fair, it's not like I tried Lysol or anything, but you catch my drift.

After a few lectures (mostly from parents, and yes, I'm 36. What's your point?), I make an appointment with the family dermatologist. After all, I have a family history of skin cancer like you wouldn't believe. Both sides. A family history of straight white teeth and 20/20 vision? Not so much. But I digress.

My lovely dermatologist, Dr. G. says, "I'm concerned, but I'm not urgently concerned." He didn't say it was cancer, so I'm not freaking out. "Okay," I say calmly, "What is it?" He holds my face in his hands and tilts my face up toward his giant light. Then he takes off his glasses and squints. Puts the glasses back on and sighs. "I really don't know." Uh, okay. You've been practicing dermatology for at least 25+ years and you don't know???!!!?

If you're the least bit interested in the outcome, here it is: Since I'm young (his words, but still) he said he doesn't want to do a biopsy and then come back and have to cut again. His exact words, "I don't want lots of scarring, so if I do cut it out, I'm going to cut once, and cut deep. It will hurt." Goody. But he wants to rule out cancer, so for one month, I'm slathering on this topical antibiotic cream. He doesn't think the festering sore on my face is a bacterial infection, but just in case it might be, he wants to go this route before we do any, um, cutting.

I really don't care at this point, I just want the thing gone. We're going on three months now. That's longer than I've had most of my boyfriends, for cryin' out loud! But what I do care about? Stumping the dermatologist. I imagine the only thing worse would be stumping the gynecologist. Those are the people who get their pictures taken and put into medical school textbooks for future study. If my guy asks if he can take a picture of this thing on my face, I think my answer will be "No. Not even in the name of science."

Off to grade papers! Sincerely, Teacher - "Good God, what is that on your face?! Someone call the news!" Lady.

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11 Comments:

Blogger saintseester said...

Let me know what it is when you finally find out. I stump my derm all the time.

March 28, 2007 1:12 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

My husband's going for this too...a weird, scaly, oozing rash that shows up in small, random places all over his body since last summer. I'm sure you wanted to know that! Did you ever hear about the woman who had a spider crawl onto her face while she was sleeping and lay eggs? Could it be that?

March 28, 2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Shawnee said...

Totally ignore Erika's suggestion about the spider egg thing because that is just Not Helpful. And also - ew. Hope the cream works!

March 28, 2007 3:39 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd said...

All I can think of are comments I've heard from my husband when I have a monstrous zit on my face. So I'll just tell you that I've stumped medical science on more than one occasion, and it's never fun. I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome before Dorothy had it on the Golden Girls- when I was 12. Good times, good times.

March 28, 2007 5:42 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Good luck with this- and good call on nixing the photo shoot. No way in hell.

March 28, 2007 9:34 PM  
Blogger Kimmy753 said...

Sounds like when they found the *spot* on my pancreas. My endocrinologist said, 'huh..that's the weirdest thing I've ever seen and I have no idea what it is'. Yep...THAT instills comfort huh?

March 29, 2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

Teacher lady, I'm sorry about your dermatologic problem. But I wouldn't worry too much about the pain--I had a mole removed from the side of my face a couple weeks ago and I only felt a little bit of pain for one day, then it totally went away. I had local anesthesia for the procedure (which took approximately 20 min.) and didn't feel a thing.

Now it's time for the scar to heal, which is honestly the most annoying part of this process because I have a gash on the side of my face. My derm assures me that it will fade to almost nothing over time, though. Just wanted to reassure you that if you do have to go the biopsy route, I wouldn't worry too much about the pain. If your dermatologist really thinks it's going to hurt a ton, I would maybe shop around for a dermatologist who does more cosmetic procedures.

March 29, 2007 10:03 AM  
Blogger gabbiana said...

No no no no no. You totally *want* your face in a medical textbook. It's the easiest route to immortality. And anyway they totally block out your eyes on those photos, so it's not like docs will be running up to you in the street, all "Oooh, I know you!" Unless you'd dig that?

March 29, 2007 12:49 PM  
Blogger The "Mind" said...

Umm, I think Erika's comment is going to give me nightmares.

I hope that it goes away soon. Damn, why can't we have perfect skin, bodies, teeth and everything else? Oh, yeah, that's right. We don't live in movies. Damn!

March 29, 2007 2:25 PM  
Blogger Poor_Statue said...

I also spent several months with what I originally thought was a pimple on my cheek. It grew and grew and grew, looking increasingly witch wart-like, (and students and staff wondered) until finally it became painful and I went to the doctor. I didn't stump anyone though. Mine was an abcess that was promptly drained to the doctor's wonderment of why I waited so darn long to get it looked at.

Hope they figure it out.

March 30, 2007 6:24 AM  
Blogger Fraulein N said...

Shit. Now I'm thinking maybe I should have a doc look at this Spot on my face that won't go away. I think it's been there more than three months.

April 04, 2007 11:26 AM  

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