So I went to a dermatologist today for this rash that I’ve had for well over a month, and the doc looked like roughly 90 years old. He was like the grandfather from Moonstruck, only Jewish instead of Italian, and bald.
He looked at the area (by my left shoulder) and asked for details. When did it start, etc. I couldn’t remember when I first noticed it, but it’s been over a month, and it’s not going away.
He said it might be work related. I doubt this, since I sit at a desk. He asked if anything rubs on that area. I suggested maybe my seatbelt. He contemplated. Asked me again if I could pinpoint when it all started.
I launched into a thing about how we had the cicadas this summer, and how I saw something on tv about the oak mites that accompany the cicada uprising, and how they might bite and leave one scratching. But that it goes away after a couple of weeks. I had suspected this might be the thing, since I hiked a lot in the metroparks and whatnot. But after reading more on the Internet, I ruled it out. Plus the oak mite thing is supposed to go away after a couple of weeks or so. And this wasn’t going away.
He held his hand up and stopped me. “I think you may have solved the case.” Which was excellent, because I didn’t realize we were doing detective work. “You went walking through the woods. You smashed a cicada on the trouble area. This is the cause.”
I thought about correcting him. But I was sort of crossed between annoyed and transfixed. Annoyed because, had he been listening, he would have known that I hadn’t ever “smashed a cicada” anywhere on my person (you all would have been treated to an explicitly detailed account of this, had it happened), and also because I could feel my $50 co-pay laughing at me. But transfixed because of how excited he was to have knocked this one out of the park.
He reached to the shelf behind him and pulled out a book on dermatological conditions, and flipped through it. He made some notes and highlighted certain passages. And then HE HANDED THE BOOK TO ME TO READ.
I read the things he had indicated I should read, and then on the sly, I flipped to the front page to see how old this book was. Copyright 1953. Can’t get more up to date than that.
I hung on every word he uttered. At this point, I didn’t want the consultation to end. I half expected him to pull open a drawer full of leeches and place one on my shoulder.
I have to go back in a month.