For the last three fall/winter seasons, I've had some skin issues. It starts as a rough patch on my chin near my mouth, then quickly spreads around like a red, scaly Van Dyke. At first I thought it was a fungus, but a couple of years ago I went to my family doctor, and she said it was just new acne. She gave me a script for antibiotics, which I took. For three damn months.

That's a long time.

Then the next year it came back. More antibiotics. Three more damn months.

So this fall, when the scales started spreading, I made an appointment with a dermatologist. There were two in town that accepted my insurance. One wasn't accepting new patients. So off to the remaining doctor I went. It took a month for me to get in. Scales all over my face.

The paperwork came in the mail, and it was made plainly clear that this doctor will not accept debit or credit cards. Red flag. But my face was hurting. So I made sure to have cash handy.

On the day of the appointment I drove to an older neighborhood that is full of homes converted to business offices. Then I went in. Signs were posted everywhere. "Absolutely No Cell Phones" and "Credit Cards Not Accepted" and the like, all printed on garishly colored copy paper. So I switched my iPhone and my kindle to airplane mode, just in case.

Then I was taken to the treatment room. Here's my face as I waited. I wanted a before to compare after any treatment.

Scales. They hurt too.

Anyway, it took quite a while, so I started to look at my surroundings.

They weighed me on this.

My grandmother has been dead about 20 years, and she got rid of this exact same model at least 3 years before she died.

Next to that is the exam table.

I think my dad may have thrown this out of an abandoned storage unit. Look closely, that outlet on the bed only has holes for two pronged plugs.

Ok. Whatever. I'm not giving birth on that table, so no big deal.

I keep snooping.

Who is that pretty lady on the wall? That's Courtney Cox, circa the heyday of FRIENDS. Like in the 90s. Before I graduated high school. I'm beginning to doubt my decision. Maybe this lady isn't a dermatologist, but is some sort of people-suit maker and she's going to harvest my non-scaly skin for a dress. Is there any medieval equipment laying around here?

Just a weird electrical box with knobs on it. It looks like equipment the Dharma Initiative left behind in the hatch. (Topical and current!) (Much like this office!) Well, what do we have here?

Just your standard doctor's office supplies. Alcohol, cotton swabs, forms. Is that...what is that behind the soap on the sink?

Just an old-ass bottle of mustard (the worst condiment known to man). So she's not going to make a people dress out of me. She's going to eat me. That's why no credit cards. Paper trail. While I'm over here, let's look at these supplies. That peroxide bottle says Walgreens on it. I thought doctors had special suppliers for stuff like that, but oh well. Cut costs on the store brand if you need to. But that label looks a bit dated...

That's because this shit expired NINE FUCKING YEARS AGO! Before the birth of my oldest daughter.

So I sit down to plot my escape, and I'm more like this.


Still scaly, but scared of my fate. Then the doctor comes in. Turns out I have rosescea. I got some topical stuff, and my face is healing. She wants me back in January to see how I look (and hopefully not to check that I've fattened up enough over the holidays to be fit for consumption / dressmaking).

Don't know if I should go back.

(Cross-posted to Madness In Women)