Moley, moley, moley

Alright, so I’m not sporting anything nearly THIS bad…

…but I couldn’t get that scene from Goldmember out of my head as I strolled to my dermatologist appointment today for my first-ever exam.

Yep, first ever.  I’m almost 30 and have never had my skin checked.  No offense to the medical profession, but I just really don’t like going to the doctor, and generally avoid doing it even when I know I should.  (Double ditto when it comes to the dentist.  But that’s a post for another day.)

But I’ve got a couple of large-ish moles that I’ve been eying with suspicion for a couple of months now.  So I finally made an appointment.  Best case?  They’re nothing, and I put my mind at ease. Worst case?  I have skin cancer and OMG – I will probably drop dead in the elevator on the way home.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Anyway.  I walked into the dermo’s office and was pleased to find that it felt more like a spa than a medical office.  This was good, and bad.  Good?  Free water with lemon, fruit bowl and soothing music.  Bad?  If I did in fact drop dead from skin cancer on the spot, I’d be stuck in this loft in Nolita and nowhere near an emergency room.  People come here for botox and laser hair removal, I thought to myself.  Are they even real doctors?  Shit.

I snacked on a complimentary banana (delicious) and awaited my fate.

Finally, the doctor – a friendly and gorgeous young woman – escorted me back to an exam room.  After a couple of minutes of chatter, she began going over every inch of my skin with some sort of special cancer-detecting magnifying glass.

I pointed her to the two big moles.  By this point, I was 100% sure that they were radiating cancer in every direction.  I feared that cancer might leap out of them and onto the lens of her magic glass.

“Those?  Those are fine,” she said.  “Seriously, nothing to worry about.”

A massive anvil of worry lifted from my chest.  Paranoia?  Is kinda heavy.

“But that,” she continued, zeroing in on my right big toe, “is a little troubling.”

WHAM.  Hello, anvil.

It turns out that moles on your feet are no bueno.  They mutate faster there, or something.  As the doc explained, the mole on my toe was only slightly “irregular,” but due to its location, removal and biopsy was highly recommended.

She continued, the conversation peppered with super-fun words like “local anesthetic,” “pain and soreness,” and “scooping.”

“We can wait a little while, if you prefer,” the doc offered.  “But it will probably have to come off eventually.”

Awesome.  I could have a chunk my toe “scooped” off of my foot now, or procrastinate and have an even larger chunk of flesh gouged out at a later date.  Alright, then  Let’s get it over with.


I must admit…for as dramatic as I can be when it comes to needles and doctors, it was actually…tolerable.  I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but show me a needle and I fight to suppress a scream.  Needles, scalpels, etc.  I hate them.

My dermatologist had some fantastic bedside manner, though.  Basically I buried my nose in a Conde Nast Travel magazine and chattered with her about my trip to Cambodia last summer while she numbed and snipped at my skin.  She was so calm and soothing – and wonderful at helping me distract myself.

So, I had my mole “scooped” out and survived.  The results of the biopsy will come back within a week or so.  I guess the worst outcome as this point is if they find an excessive amount of “mutation” – in that case, I’ll have to go back in and have even more flesh “scooped” out.  Fun.

All in all, I am so glad I finally did this – and I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t had a skin check to do the same.

And that’s my long-winded PSA for the day.  Whew. Aren’t you glad I usually write about running and iced coffee and frozen yogurt?

Today’s EAT: The hubs and I met some friends for dinner tonight.  Hooray for a weeknight dinner out!  Especially after my adventures in dermatology.

The restaurant pick fell on me, so I yelp‘d for a bit and ended up choosing Ponty Bistro in Gramercy.  I selected it not just for the amusing proximity of its name to the word Panty, although that was certainly a consideration.  No, I picked it because of the interesting mix of cuisines (French and African), reasonable price point, and universally positive reviews.

We were not disappointed!  I had a spicy take on the classic French dish, Moules Mariniere.  Instead of simply white wine and garlic, the broth had an interesting flavor that tasted kind of Moroccan.  Delish.

The hubs had lamb.  It was divine.  Lamb is almost always divine.

The service was good and the wine list was very reasonable.  Definitely check it out of you’re a NYCer!

Today’s DRINK: Even with a dinner out, there’s still room for a bottle of wine from the wine rack!  Especially when you get home at 11 PM and still have work to do.

So you open a bottle with an extra-cute label.  Only to discover that it’s extra-mediocre.  Bleh.

This Winnefred Chardonnay looked so fun, but I won’t be buying it again, unfortunately.  It’s really sharp and just not all that enjoyable.

Today’s RUN: Of course I can’t run.  There is a small crater on my toe. 😦

The doctor told me that it would be okay to run again when it stopped being “sore.”  A couple of days at least.  Right now, the toe is throbbing, so I am thinking that running tomorrow is probably out too.  Boo.

I guess an externally-imposed break isn’t such a bad thing, though.  I just don’t want to take too many days off, or I’ll get antsy!  Hoping things are feeling better by Saturday!

Today’s QUESTION: Do you go for a yearly skin check?  Ever had the pleasure of getting a mole removed? I get the impression it’s pretty darn common!

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13 responses to “Moley, moley, moley

  1. I have had a mole removed when I was maybe in middle school. It was on my back & kept getting rubbed by my bra strap which was really irritating, which is why I got it removed. I have lots of moles though, my dad has gotten many removed. I probably should go to a derm & get looked at, but that would require two doctors appointments (one for the referral… bla!) & I’m so not into having to go to the doctors twice when I’m not even sick!

    • I am lucky in that my insurance doesn’t require a referral for specialists. If I had to go to two doctors, that would be a huge turnoff for me, too. What a dumb system.

  2. I should go every year, but I don’t. I have a lot of mole that I know are ‘ok’ but just want them removed. I need to find a dermo that is scalpel happy!

  3. Wow, what a seemingly dramatic experience turned somewhat… relaxing? Who is this doctor?! (might actually want the name, have some potential dermo work to be done). Sorry you’re out for a couple days though… It will give you all the more reason to explore TJ’s wine varietals. Eh?

  4. I’ve been once for them to check my face, but I’ve never had a skin check.
    I need to go because I’ve noticed some moles (I don’t like to call them moles because I always think that means they are huge) show up out of nowhere.

  5. Your doctor’s office reminds me of a Grey’s Anatomy episode where the surgical residents went to hang out in the derm office at the hospital because it was so super relaxing. The office had pitchers of water with raspberries, calming music, and comfy couches with pillows. Everyone who worked in the office was all zen-like.

    You are smart to get your skin checked out. I need to do that one of these days!

  6. I’ve had one removed on my chest/boob. It was big and kinda unsightly. I also have a mole on my foot it’s between my toes. When I had my other mole removed she burned the one between my toes and it got smaller now it’s getting bigger I need to go get it checked out!

  7. I have this little fleck on my ankle that is making me nervous. It was never there before, and I keep wanting to go up to every person I know in the medical field and make them look at my leg to see if it’s dangerous. To me, not others.

    The last dermatologist I went to had a ridiculously fancy office too! It was also this laser skin care place, and I felt pretty scrubby going in for, like, a real medical purpose.

  8. who the heck is this doctor!? that place sounds amazing – lemon water and free bananas? sign me up. i haven’t been to a dermatologist in years, but all i ever got at my old one was a long wait and expensive face cream.

    i’ve only ever had a weird birthmark removed – or, actually frozen off. i don’t remember it being painful, but i usually tell myself to suck it up when it comes to stuff like that. hope you heal fast!

  9. I had a mole removed a long time ago, but since then nada, and I don’t even have a derm 😦 This is a good reminder that we all should, though! This doctor sounds amazing – good ones seem so hard to find these days 🙂

    Hope the toe feels better soon!

  10. No yearly skin check for me, but I did have a not-so-fun dermatology problem that I had to go in for several months ago.

    Google “hemangioma” and imagine having a small one suddenly appear on your face – right in the middle of your cheek. At least they got rid of it for me!

  11. My regular GP checks me out, but I don’t have a dermo. Really bad, I know… especially since I’m so hard on the boy about going to his! Glad you took care of it and nipped it in the bud.

  12. This is SO CRAZY – I JUST went on Thursday for the first time EVER to the dermatologist. How random 🙂 I too was a little freaked over a mole that I *thought* looked different. Had it removed and sent off to the lab. There was definitely no free food at my doc though 🙂

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