Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Crisis averted

Abooot a year ago, I noticed a really strange mark on my left thigh.  Kinda looked like someone took a sharpie marker and quickly dotted my leg.  Like a mini graffiti artist came in on his micro-machine the night and tagged me.

Being that I try to rationalize anything that I perceive as possibly bad so as not to get worried about it, I called my dad just so I could get someone else to back me up that I didn’t need to have a doctor look at it:

Ashlin:  Okay, so it’s raised…

Dad:  Yeah…?

Ashlin:  And it’s really dark…

Dad:  Uh-huh….

Ashlin:  And it’s irregularly shaped.

Dad:  Okay…

Ashlin:  So what do you think?  It’s not that big a deal, right?  I don’t need to get it checked or anything, right?

Dad:  Uh…yes.  Yes, you definitely do.

If I had to guess, my dad was at the same time giving me the universal “DOY” face over the phone.

I didn’t have a dermatologist in Chicago because I had never had to worry about it before, so when I went to work the next day, I mentioned it to my friend and asked if she had any suggestions.  To my surprise, she did.  “He’s just over here at Midwest hospital.  He’s really good, went to Harvard.  And he’s cute.”


I called to schedule an appointment and the woman on the phone explained they had a cancellation that afternoon and to just come over once I got off work.  Sweet.  I ran in there, got my paperwork filled out, was escorted to the room and told to remove my pants.

I suddenly regretted the extremely old and ridiculously novelty panties I had adorned that morning. Seriously.  When I got them I was still in high school- they were wizards with little stars that glowed in the dark at the time, but now just looked like sad washed out old men pointing at where stars used to be.  Thanks Target, circa 2001.  But in my defense, I think I mentioned before that waking up at 4:30 in the morning had some detrimental effects on my decisions in attire, plus I really didn’t plan on anyone seeing my unmentionables at 5 in the afternoon.  So, you know, suck it.

A few minutes later, in walked the Harvard Med dreamboat.  Actually, he wasn’t all that dreamy.  He was cute, certainly, but I’ve got to throw in some elaboration once in a while to deflect from the fact that I just explained to you my underwear in explicit detail.

So this total 10 walks in and begins the inspection… while giving me a back rub… and telling me how good my hair looks in that rats nest of a bun…

And finally puts down his magnifying instruments as well as my fears of imminent death by explaining that it was merely a series of broken blood vessels that had seemed to have just broken closely together, possibly because I had sat on something at some point or just because, as he explained, “sometimes these things just happen.”

“So I don’t need to worry?”

“Nope.  You’re fine.”

“Great!  Well thanks!”

“Well, I’d like to take a look at the rest of you while you’re here.  Check for moles and whatnot.”

“Um… sure.”

Mother. Fucker.  I had to have put on my most ill-fitting bra that day, too, hadn’t I?

As he inspected my shoulders and underarms, getting dangerously close to revealing that hole just above the waistband of my piss-poor excuse for a breast supporter, my self-consciousness elevated exponentially every second, until at some point I couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, without prior prompt:


I gotta hand it to a doctor who still maintains a decent bedside manner, especially with a patient who apparently has no sense of proper conversational decorum, or choice in undergarment attire.  He offered a patronizing chuckle and moved on to my scalp, eventually explaining that I checked out all right all over.  I thanked him and he exited so I could get redressed.

Wonderful.  Everybody’s happy.  I’m not going to die.

But now I have to wonder if I have Tourette’s.


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  1. rofl

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago
  2. * kimbelly says:

    Oh Ashlin, you are killing me. I had the same. exact. situation. about 10 years ago. Dreamboat dermatologist, ill-fitting panties and a faded bra. And who ever warns you that a thorough visit to the dermatologist is right up there with a visit to the ob/gyn?!
    After all, he pulls apart your toes, lifts your breasts, digs through your hair and the final indignity — spreads your butt cheeks. I mean, come on. So not only might I get skin cancer, but it could be in the dark recesses of my ASS?! That’s just not right…

    My only saving grace is that 10 years later, my dreamboat doctor has gained 60 pounds and lost half his hair, while I have remained timelessly young and hirsuit.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 10 months ago

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