Funny how the most arbitrary of events can lead to large and unexpected consequences. Towards the end of October I decided that the mole type thing on my collarbone, that had recently become somewhat red and itchy, should be looked at. Looked at by someone other than me that is, someone in the medical profession perhaps. I was probably brought round to this way of thinking by an acquaintance who had had a similar blemish looked at, biopsied, and hastily removed.
I decided to wait till after my birthday – no point in spoiling a happy time of year. I also decided to get it done on a Friday in case I needed the weekend to recover. I phoned my Doctor, who I now know is somewhat hard of hearing, to make an appointment. After screaming my name into my cell phone for several minutes an appointment was finally made.
He didn’t seem particularly impressed and asked if I had any other, perhaps more impressive, specimens to show him. I coyly said ‘Hmm perhaps one or two.’ He may have been more impressed by those because he said, with an evil glint in his eye – let’s burn them off just in case. I asked if a sample might be taken to be tested and he said lets burn em first and see how they settle down.
He rummaged in a dusty cabinet and took out a thermos. Strange time to be having a cup of Coffee I thought. He just smiled sleepily and said ‘this is going to hurt’. Right up there with ‘I’m late’ and ‘you really aren’t adopted’ as my least favorite things to hear.
After some pain, smoke and sizzling he said I may have to come back for him to do this again but he wouldn’t charge me the second time. Well that’s an effen relief – nothing like a bit of free pain to cheer me up.
And then I waited, trying to decide if the blisters and oozing were good signs or not. Waited about two weeks although it felt much longer. And used the time to think of what changes I’d make in my life if the news was bad. Really bad – like having to immerse my whole body in a huge thermos of Liquid Nitrogen.
Well – and this really surprised me – I thought I would like to spend some quality time with my aging parents. Nothing like panic to make oxymoronic thinking seem sound. I also decided that I simply had to leave my soul destroying and mind numbingly boring job. And had to get the number of the friend of a friend of a friend who could provide those special kind of mushrooms.
Two Fridays later, after having been told by the whole world and his dog that the Doctor really should have arranged a biopsy, I decided to demand this. Was all prepared, three beers later, to do the correct and courageous thing, when the Doctor’s receptionist phoned to say the Doctor was terribly ill and would not be coming in to work that day. Well WTF – Doctor’s can’t get sick that’s just stupid – and anyway I had taken the day off.
So not wanting to lose any momentum I had three more beers and drove to the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital. Which, being the size of a fair sized town, should be able to scrape some skin and send it to Ampath Laboratory onsite. Well apparently not – but if I’d like I could make an appointment to see a specialist sometime next decade. I decided to try my luck with the smaller clinic where my Doctor should have been had he not been both inconsiderately and unprofessionally dying at home.
So I saw my Doctor’s partner who looked at my putrefying wounds and said I’m sure it’s fine – ‘what kind of Shlenter Doctor would not get a biopsy unless he thought it was required. What kind of shlenter Doctor indeed.
So on the basis of the opinion of two elderly Jewish Doctors I have decided that I’m fine. I mean if I look hard enough for the C-Word I may just find it. And I’ve been on a steady diet of mushrooms since then, have resigned my job and will be joining my parents in the fairest Cape in about 2 months time.