DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

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Medical specificity punctuation, dermatologically burning flesh, & a birthday mini-stroke...

~Wednesday~  I had a first-time appointment with a dermatologist who was recommended by my friend, Kevin (av8rdude).

When I entered the building in which the practice resides, I was struck by a sign that reminded me of failblog.org's new feature called, "Oddly Specific," which includes entries like:

Oddly specific failblog.com entry - cash transactions 57.8% off

Please secure your belongings sign with a picture of a hamburger as an example.

I mean I've heard of pain clinics before, but not one that so narrowly restricted the area of pain they'd treat, as the one I saw entering the building:

Raleigh Facial Pain Center

I guess it's a good sign I didn't realize medicine has gotten that specialized. And then, around another corner, I came across this office:

Interventional Spine and Pain Specialist

I have no idea what an "interventional spine" is or if I have one. If I don't have one, then there is some kind of underlying punctuation issue with this sign. I'm not sure if this means:

  • Interventional (Spine + Pain) Specialist, which doesn't really make sense because spine and pain are two such very different things.

    or does it mean:

  • (Interventional Spine) + (Interventional Pain) Specialist, which doesn't make sense unless there's actually some body part called an interventional spine and a kind of pain that's called interventional. It seems to me, interventional is an adjective, which again to me, would be modifying the specialist. But hey, I'm no doctor. I don't even play one in my blog.

    or does it mean:

  • (Interventional Spine) + (Pain Specialist), which has the same problem as the previous parsing, but at least the Pain Specialist part makes sense.

If it means the only thing that would make sense to me, it would be written: "Spine & Pain Intervention Specialist," or to be longer, but potentially clearer, "Pain (including spine pain) Intervention Specialist." But I seriously digress...

The Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center that I was going to was on the second floor, and when I got in the elevator, I was immediately taken back 15 years to an elevator in a leased IBM building that I used to work in. Funny about smells and memories.

Being a new patient, there were some things to take care of, so while my appointment was for 8:20, I wasn't called to the back until 8:40. Jill took me back, and we hit it off immediately.

She said, "We're going to go over this way, to a separate little section that we only use on Wednesdays when we have so many doctors in, and Tracey usually offers to work back here."

We wove our way back thorough what looked like used to be a completely separate office, including a check-in desk, all of which was deserted, and I said, "Isn't it cute?"

"It is cute, isn't it???" she emoted as if sincerely appreciating the affirmation of its cuteness.

Once in the examining room, she asked me several questions about what I was there for, one of them being about the skin tag on my right eyelid that I wanted removed.

"Does it hurt you?" she asked.

"Well, it doesn't physically hurt or anything; it just looks gross."

To which she said, armed with pen in hand hovering over the "Yes" check box on the form, "Say it hurts you."

That reminded me of Joann's comment during my pre-colonoscopy interrogation last week, when she'd said, "How tall are you?"

"I'm 5' 7.5", but I used to be 5' 8.5," I said retrospectively.

"I'm going to put 5' 8"; that'll make your BMI look better," which pleased me for the second before it registered who'd that be cheating.

So many health care loopholes, so little known.

After she finished taking preliminary notes about why I was there, Tracey Cloninger, who is a PA so I can't call her Dr. Cloninger, came in and I liked her instantly. "Kevin Reinstein sent me," I said during introductions. "He just loves you."

Her face lit up and she squealed, "And I love him!"

She asked me to re-articulate what I was there for, and then she said, "Okay, lie down in the chair there, Martin, and let's take a look at those eyes."

To which I said, "Do you call everyone by their last name?"

Now, there is nothing that'll give me a boner quicker than some sharp wit and quick repartee, and that's exactly what happened in the next few seconds, as she realized why I was asking that.

She said to Jill, "No I don't, do I O'Brien?"

To which Jill replied, "No. You don't, Cloninger."


After examining me, with regards to the infection on the bottom of my left eyelid, she said, "I'm going to give you a little steroid to put on that, but I want you to come back in two weeks, so I can take another look at it. I don't suspect it's anything, but some cancers do start off 'pimply,'" she said. Didn't love hearing that.

With regards to the skin tag removed from my upper right eyelid, after she finished its cauterizing, I said, "Mmmmm. Burning hair and flesh; smells great."

"You might see a little bruising there tomorrow, but that's normal if you do. You can make up some dramatic story about what happened if you want."

"Oh good, I get to use my favorite line then: 'He hurts me, but I love him so much.'" Cloninger and O'Brien both got a chuckle of that one.

PSA: There is nothing funny about domestic violence. If you, or you suspect that someone you know, is being abused, please get help.

I stopped by the Kmart Pharmacy on the way home to fill the steroid prescription, and the man in front of me said to the pharmacist: "I got a nice birthday present."

"Oh yeah, what was that?" she responded

"A little mini-stroke."

Well. Look at the time! And speaking of time, while I waited for my prescription to be filled, I remembered that I needed some more multivitamins, and I used the calculator on my phone to figure out the price per pill to get the best value. Of course she did.

My findings:

  • For Centrum Silver Ultra Men's: $10.99 for 100 tablets, so 10.9 cents per tablet (I'm not convinced that the apostrophe in the name of that product is used correctly, but I digress even further...)

  • For regular Centrum Silver: $21.49 for 220 tablets, or 9.8 cents per tablet

  • Also for regular Centrum Silver: $15.49 for 150 tablets, or 10.3 center per tablet

I got to work at a little after 10:00, and my boss' boss stopped by to tell me this joke, which I had to share through a Facebook status:

YouTube, Twitter, & Facebook are having merger talks. The new company will be YouTwitFace.

I attended our IT Student Advisory Group meeting tonight for my friend, and colleague, Jen, who wasn't feeling well. Our intern, Vanessa, picked me up close to 5:00, and we stopped at Jimmy John's to pick up the refreshments for the meeting. Food:the greatest weapon in the struggle to getting students to participate in anything.

I took notes of the meeting, and fortuitously, I was even able to contribute by offering to put one of the students in touch with someone who gave a presentation on a technology at UNC CAUSE 2010 back in November, that the student might be interested in.

Dancing was fun enough tonight, but I didn't get as much exercise as I would have liked to, especially since I've been so bad about getting to the gym for well over a week now. Grrrrr!
Tags: affirmations (implicit), bar talk, customer service, dancing, exercise, facebook, favorite, health, puns, unc cause, work

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