I have this mole-ish thing on my thigh. It's been there for years. He said a name for it. He said it's fine. He always says it's fine. Which...is why I go see him, because I wouldn't have thought it was fine. I told him so. He said, "it does all the things we tell you to worry about, but it's still harmless. It turns out it's genetic." Well...if it's genetic. Nothing genetic could be a problem.
"These things save lives," he continued. "People think there's a problem and they come to get them checked, and because they come in we spot something they might NOT have caught that ISN'T harmless." So basically my thigh-mole-thing is a hero.
My dermatologist told me that his brother was a pilot in Iraq. He told me that he asked him once what it was like being a pilot in Iraq and apparently his brother told him, "It was a target-rich environment." He told me the story after he peeled the paper gown away from my chest. In terms of moles, he said, "you're a target-rich environment."
Don't worry, this story ends happily. He examined and catalogued my moles and had his assistant take some pictures, pronounced me healthy and told me I could get dressed and he'd see me in 6 months.
When I started this appointment they asked me if I wanted a gown or just to take my shirt off. Considering I knew he wanted to examine "all of me" I figured rather than sitting bare-ass on butcher paper I'd prefer the sparse modesty a gown could offer. The assistant brought me a paper gown and I disrobed when she left, peeling the paper apart to find the arm holes.
"The opening goes in back," she said.
I put it on and looked for some way to pull the stiff paper closed. There was a thin plastic strip, perhaps a half inch wide and 36" long that had fallen out of the gown and I attempted to wrap it around myself. I could make the ends touch but there was no way I'd be able to tie it. This was not my first paper gown exam rodeo. I looked for eyelets on the gown...maybe it threaded through them. There weren't any. I tossed the strip on my clothes in disgust.
I gathered the gown around me and pulled it closed before sitting on the butcher paper and waiting. "Please don't use cell phones while in the examination rooms". Whatever. I didn't though.
I crumpled up the paper gown and tossed it in the garbage. I got dressed and grabbed the "belt strip".
I handed it to the assistant and said, "Explain yourself. I'm relatively slender and I couldn't tie it, I guarantee you have bigger patients. There is no wa-" But she was already holding the strip out in front of her...and...LIFE HACK...She pulled it apart. The strip didn't snap in half or really even seem to thin out as much as I'd have thought. She handed it back to me, stretched nearly double.
At the look on my face she laughed delightedly. "That's how you do it," she said.
I can't POSSIBLY be the only person who has failed to see the solution to the short-belt problem. If I am, please feel free to laugh at me. If not...use this life hack for your next appointment.