Coffee heat rising

Live-Blogging from the Doc’s Office

So…here I am at the dermatologist’s office…AGAIN. Ten minutes early: didn’t take as long to fight the traffic as usual. Only one moron, all the way across 103 north-south avenues and six east-west main drags.

Ah! This is amusing. I see typing on a keyboard annoys my fellow waiting-room inmates. Some woman just got up and moved herself closer to the (annoying!) yakathon television. To keep the patients calm, this particular practice serenades us with an UNENDING loop of some TV home-improvement show episodes. On and boringly on about ripping out shelving and installing cabinetry and fixing the plumbing. Sooo soothing…

Young Dr. Kildare’s office is right around the corner – this being the dermatology practice he likes to refer his patients to. Consumed a third of a tank of gas a couple days ago to consult with him about a weird traffic event in which I damn near killed four people by trying to pass an aggressive moron who I thought was in the middle lane but who was actually in the left-turn lane.

That was exciting…

And alarming, because in 42 years of driving, I’ve never gotten so confused I didn’t even know what damn lane I was driving in! So I wanted to…

Oh…the woman disturbed by the sound of keys tapping is yapping on her phone, sharing her personal life with one and all! Love it!

…where were we? So I wanted to ask him if he could tell whether I’m starting to Alzheimer out.

He said. “That’s not dementia. That’s road rage.”


Oh, God! Her kid’s teacher called her on the phone earlier to report that the brat was “having an off day” in school: not paying attention in class. She gets into a worried heart-to-heart about this.

Did any child, anywhere, ever pay attention in those interminable, brain-bangingly stupid grade-school classes?

…where were we? So Young Dr. Kildare says the only thing wrong with me is road rage, and I need to get a grip. And, interestingly, he shares the fact that he also is plagued by constant road rage while driving around Our Fair city.

At this point, I share with him my Universal Theory of Phoenix Drivers. This, as you will recall, goes as follows:

Hypothesis 1: At any given time when you are on the road, one in ten drivers coming toward you is a moron.

He says: “Oh! I would have said two or three!”

I say, “Well, given the volume of traffic on a road like 7th Street, that could be so, but I believe that to be an illusion. Fewer people are morons than we perceive.”

Hypothesis 2: At any given time when you are on the road, one in ten drivers going in your direction is a moron.

Corollary: Therefore, at all times when you are driving in lovely Phoenix, you are surrounded by morons.

He persisted in his analysis, that the numerical value is grossly underestimated. This aspect will need further investigation to produce valid statistical results.

At any rate, the dearth of morons at 10:00 in the morning is puzzling. Usually, one would expect to encounter at least three or four of them.

Today must be some kind of moron holiday.


That was easier than I expected.

Meeting with the dermatologist’s PA, I explained that I’d gone to the Mayo to get a second opinion, because that is what I always do, after 40-some years of experience in the Land of Medical Science, and that the alleged doctor I’d spoken with would not give me a straight answer to even ONE of the three fairly simple questions I asked her:

  1. Is the most recently treated lesion, which remains red and has a white spot in it, healing properly, or do we need to do more to clean it out?
  2. What is the cause of the apparent nerve pain up and down my arm, which arose when this lesion was frozen off and has only partially cleared?
  3. Is it really necessary to use the Efudex prescribed by the westside dermatologist’s practice at this time, or can we safely wait to see whether freezing these things off works?

Mayo’s doc simply refused to give me an answer to questions 1 and 2. To question 3, said she: “Well…we normally prescribe that when there are a lot of lesions. Like, 15.”

There had only been two, at this point.

I said, “So, are you saying it’s reasonable not to use the product at this time?”

She said, “That’s up to you. It’s your decision.”

WTF??? Why the hell does she think I would ask her opinion if I had a clue about the advisability of applying a product that is going to blister up my hand, inflict an array of unpleasant and painful side effects, and very possibly cause permanent disfigurement?

So when I tell Wonder-Dermatology’s PA about this, she says…

  1. The recently treated lesion is healing quite well. The redness is to be expected and will go away slowly. The white spots are scars.
  2. It’s really unlikely the arm pain could be caused by treating that particular spot, because to reach the suspect nerve one would have to burrow in a great deal deeper than a squirt of frozen nitrogen can do. Young Doctor Kildare’s theory that it’s a variety of tendinitis or some kind of muscle strain is probably correct. But if it doesn’t go away, I should ask him for a referral.
  3. Hilarious! Yes, actually, we can wait safely to see whether any more keratoses arise after today’s treatment. Fifteen??? We often treat even one or two lesions with Efudex.

And then she kindly sprayed not just the latest visitation on the paw, but the big ugly brown spot on my face, too. The one I’ve been trying to get her to freeze off since I first showed up in her precincts.

Adventures in Medical Science…