I am a veritable garden of dermatological delight.
I am here to finally say goodbye to the thing. Three years after we began our relationship she has become more of an annoyance than she is worth and she simply has to go.
I remember this doctor from my visit February 2011. I liked her then. I like her even more now. She is pointing at my patches and spots and tabs and blooms, calling each of them nothing to worry about. She labels them to the technician in words that sound like a language from the Russian block. Then she leans in and tells me their nicknames. Cherry, goober, dot. They are the merry dwarves of dermatology. Whistling while they work. Just as she does. “Sometimes its just annoying to be a grower.” She sums up after her inventory.
Our doctor patient rapport started with my check in sheet. Next to symptoms one of the choices was “excessive hair” I circled it and annotated. “Sadly not on my head.” When she read it she broke out into a full on laugh and told me I was funny. A moment later someone in the next exam room was chuckling through the wall. “Don’t you like it, she asked me, when all you can hear is laughter in the doctors office?”
After the lidocaine and the scalpel and the cauterization she invites me in for a follow up. “Its optional” she tells me. I explain that we are moving and she looks down. “I try to treat all patients the same, I think I do.” Here she looks to the nurse for confirmation, which she gets in a crisp nod. “But sometimes I leave the room and hope they are not coming back.” The implication is that I am not one of them and she lingers over my “growth” chart. She compliments my bag and tells the story of her recent purse purchase. It wasn’t the love match she expected.
As we walk down the hallway together she invites me into the office to take a picture of the entire Champlain Valley laid out before us. I had explained that I was beginning to document Vermont. I knew that the photo couldn’t do the vista justice. But she moved her dying tulips aside so I made a show of taking the picture.
Some views and some moments can’t be recorded. The crackle of connection we had in the exam room for 15 minutes could have been the beginning of a friendship. But I will just have to recount it here and leave it at that.
I walked out a little bit lighter, to the sound of laughter and the breathtaking view of the valley, lake and layers of mountains. You cant take everything with you.