365 Days of Carol Anne (Adventures in Dermatology — The Full Body Exam Explained)

Day 189


This is my relieved face




So today was my appointment with the Dermatologist. I was worried sick for days beforehand because I didn't know what to expect and I couldn't find any real definitive description of what a full body exam entailed. As I've said before, this blog is as much for me as it is for others who are going through similar experiences. It really is the not knowing and the imagining what if that are the biggest causes of anxiety. This morning when the alarm went off I was already anxious. I could feel the blood in my head pounding in my ears.


The Will-I monster (2nd cousin to the What-If monster) ran amuck in my head while my stomach churned and I fought wild anxiety.


  • Will I have to get totally naked?
  • How total is total body?
  • Will it be as invasive as a gynecological appointment?

I searched the web this morning and couldn't find any one definitive description and most were men asking if the doctor would examine their private parts. This wasn't much help for me. I was sick the whole way to the appointment.


We arrived at the office and I checked in and then we waited. Then something that's never happened occurred, the doctor himself came out into the waiting room to get the patient before me. I thought surely this is a fluke and he knows her personally or something but then he came out and got another patient and then finally me. I've never seen that before.


He ushered us into the exam room. Yes, Chuck was allowed to come back with me. The doctor read the note my Oncologist sent him then stepped out so I could undress and put a gown on. I took my bra off but left my underwear on. The doctor knocked and reentered the room. He examined my head and surgery site as well as my ears and face and neck. After that he asked me to lower my gown so he could examine my torso. After that he asked me to stand up so he could examine my legs. I sat back down and he examined my feet and that was that.


We talked about the small spot on my nose and the spot on my arm that concerned me. The spot on my nose is 2 millimeters and we'll watch that for any growth. The spot on my arm he believes is some type of wart. Try as though I might I cannot remember the name. I told him that I'd gotten it after I'd been in the hospital in October. He was going to just freeze it off but instead decided to biopsy it just in case, which he did right there in the office. He asked me if I had any problems with Lidocaine or Novacaine. When I said no he went to work. Truthfully the needle to numb the site hurt worse than the actual biopsy. It was over in no time. He he cauterized the biopsy site and the nurse covered it with a bandaid and that was that, we were done. He said to call if I didn't hear from him in two weeks and to make an appointment to see him again in 6 months. He shook my hand and left the room so I could get dressed and leave.


The examination was not at all embarrassing. I was not uncomfortable. I didn't (as I had feared) need to stand naked in the office while he gave me the once over. It was all very professional and didn't take long at all. The biopsy wasn't that painful and it was all over in less than an hour. I have to keep the biopsy site covered with a bandaid and Vaseline for 2 weeks. All that worry for absolutely nothing. Another hurdle vaulted, another leg of the journey in the books.


My little boo boo from the biopsy



Thanks for stopping by every day, I love you all.







~ Carol Anne






Visit Carol Anne at her home on the web, Soapboxville.




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