Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Fat Lip

I am currently sporting one half of an Angelia Jolie lip. The half is not even close to the magnificent full. Upon my fat lip I have a bandage. This bandage matches the one on my neck and the one on my back. I have learned that biopsy does not mean a small, needle tip size of tissue. Biopsy means, "We are going to take the suspicious item off of your body - and all surrounding tissue - and analyze it." 

My husband and I are both products of a time when very few cared about sun protection and likely did not have a clue what SPF stands for. As a child I sunburned. The sunburn would fade and peel and then the skin would burn again. We had aloe to soothe the burn but nothing in the beach bag to protect us from it in the first place.

As I have grown older my sunspots have become more evident. My shoulders are freckled with sun damage. There is little I can do now except prevent more sun damage. Yes, we have aloe, but we also have SPF 45 in drawers, cabinets, and our cars. We slather our children with sunblock and they still become the most beautiful golden brown I have ever seen. Their Japanese genes are a gift.

Because of our spots my husband I and I decided we should visit a dermatologist. It had been over a decade since we last were checked from head to toe. I never dreamed when I sat in my paper robe that I would be the doctor's best patient of the day. Best as in, "Woo-hoo! This here is a live one. Let me see that light!"

The doctor scrutinized my face, my back, my arms, and even my feet. He murmured his findings to the nurse and then said he needed to biopsy three spots. He first biopsied my back and I knew at that point that the little rough patch above my lip was going to be a zinger! I felt nothing but the hot flow of the numbing agent that seemed to set fire to my nose hairs. I knew it was bad when my lip entered my field of vision.

The doctor poked and scraped and moved onto my neck. After he took choice bits of my body he froze at least ten other suspicious spots on my face and arms. It was an icy cold blast followed by searing heat.

When the exam table was lifted upright I looked at my husband who did a double take and said, "Oh, wow! But, really, no. It isn't too bad." 

"I am not a monster!" I replied. And, then I got the giggles which I always do after I survive something that is unpleasant.

My husband was next on the exam table and after a five minute scan he received a bill of good health. While I am so thankful that he is healthy I couldn't believe he didn't have at least one creepy thing to remove. Not a blemish, not a mole, nothing.

So I have worked this week with a fat lip and the temptation to tell people I cut myself shaving. I find out next week if my biopsies are clear. I feel like they will be...and if not...these things were caught early so I will be fine after a bit more scraping.

This experience has hammer home the importance of SPF 45 on my children and myself. And, it is clear that my husband and I must add a yearly visit to the dermatologist to our health routine. Hopefully next year won't be such a windfall for the doctor!

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