For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Out, Damned Spot!

I dislike doctors. Always have. Being an always-sick kid meant I got to know too many of them over my life. Invariably, they were always nice guys. Sooner or later, though, the news they'd bring would be bad, and of that I have always been certain.

I've been meaning to book an appointment for the last three weeks, and it's after hours now and I've only just left a message so that I may book my visit. I'm nervous to go in, though.

Why go in? I have this weird sore on the back of my calf. Diamond shaped, 3/4 of an inch, red mottled skin, slightly raised. It's weird, and it hasn't changed much since it appeared, and it's been there for just under two months now. It doesn't hurt, it's not dry skin. It's just weird and different from any marks I've ever had before.

And I'm making a mental note to mention this strange 1/3" hard bump I've felt under my skin over my, what, liver? Upper left of the abdomen. I suspect it's just a little nodule of fat, though, so I'm not concerned about it. Mentioning it, for sure, but concerned? Nah.

Still, I'm noticing that these things worry me more than they once did. I wonder why that is. Older, wiser? Liking this life more? Just a big fat pussy? Whatever the reason, I care more about a diagnoses than I once did.

My doctor's cool, though. He knows when I need to talk, and that's when he closes my file, puts it down, crosses his leg, and gets involved while making lots of eye contact and being deadly serious. The rest of the time, he cracks jokes and engages in film banter with me.

I switched to him after my mother's death. My doctor then was an ass. My mother switched to him in the few months before her death, after the tumour was found, when six months were unwittingly on her clock.

He sat by her side in the hospital as she lay dying and we, the family, found some time for ourselves. He never bullshitted her, and he never talked down to me. I switched to him because he'd cared about my mom even though he was new to her life and she was on the way out. There are people in my life I trust because I'm supposed to trust them -- dentists and other professionals. Then there are those I trust because they've earned it, and it's a pretty particular crowd. The good doctor's made the cut because he's said stuff like this:

On my telling him I had a bad pot habit:
  • So? It's a crutch. When you're ready, you'll move past it. Until it begins to harm you, it's just a crutch. Talk to me if that changes.
On being asked what the secret to weightloss was:
  • Eat a little less, exercise a little more.
On finding out a clinic had me wait in the waiting room for an hour then told me I could return to work the next day when I'd already developed an acute case of pneumonia:
  • Malpractice is too good for some people.
On hearing me declare that I was deeply depressed and couldn't make it work anymore:
  • You and millions of other people. Difference is, you're recognizing it, and now we can do something about it.
But, no, I don't like doctors. I like him, though. Still, I'll feel better when I get this thing looked at. I'm also considering having a mole removed just because it's one that freaks anyone out who sees it, even though the docs claim it looks fine and it's never changed. One less thing to be conscious of, y'know?

Sigh. At least it's summer and I can easily jet over there on a workday. La dee da. Hopefully I get an appointment next week. I shall report the findings.