Steve Madewell

Pedestrian Ramblings

A compassionate presence vs. an uncomfortable act! The first time I went to a dermatologist was after I got a little piece of my skin caught in a sweater. Some of us have these wonderful phenomena where we form lovely little things called skin tags. Bout the only redeeming thing I could research and find out about this sort of thing is that some indigenous cultures regard this manifestation as a sign of mystic powers. Whoooooo Cool. I got my mojo working! In my late 30’s I started growing these things and some how managed to get one caught in a sweater as I was pulling the sweater off. So this inspired me to go to this dermatologist who had me pull off my shirt and he looked me over. He turned away from me for a moment only to turn around with a needle in one hand and some scissors in the other. I was expecting him to look at me and then give me a prescription or something to melt my little troubles away. I wasn’t expecting a pair of eyes starring over a surgical mask intent on poking and snipping them away. I wouldn’t say I was severely traumatized but I would put it in the moderate category. It wasn’t all so painful; it was just sort of freaky. I have this strange mental thing I go through when ever I leave a piece of my body behind and I guess I just wasn’t mentally prepared for that. (Especially my mojo and would I loose my mystic powers?) I didn’t go back to a dermatologist for over ten years. When I did it was at the urging of a friend who happens to be a doctor who happens to be married to another doctor who happens to be a dermatologist. Doctor number one made a convincing case that, as much time as I have spent outside I should really give some thought to monitoring the condition of my skin. With my Pop having various skin cancers scrapped cut and snipped off this seemed like a pretty good idea. So he convinced me to go see his wife. I have to say there was no comparison to my first visit to a skin doctor. When I left I looked pretty much like I had been shot in the face with birdshot at about fifty yards. I was peppered with all manner of little red dots where I have been injected and snipped, frozen and zapped and even scalpeled a time or two. That being said however it is appropriate to mention the biggest difference of all. And that was in my attitude. You see my new found friend the dermatologist, approached things with such an overwhelming sense of compassion and reassuring confidence that I didn’t mind at all. There are few times in your life when you really can relax and surrender your self to someone’s care. I try to do that when I am on a guided hunting or fishing outing. I certainly remain aware and focused but I let the guide take me where they want me to be. It is a remarkable lightness to just be. It is really wonderful in today’s world to be able to do that especially in the area of medical care. I have never quite experienced this before where a doctor overcomes a completely uncomfortable situation with reassuring confidence and simple compassion. What is so wonderful about the whole experience is the realization of how deeply committed this exceptional person is to humanity. Today is the third year I have been back and each time I get a little “beat up” but I actually look forward to going, as it is such a pleasure just to be in her presence. Sorry fellows but when we get right down to it, I think she’s my favorite Doctor.