This week I had the pleasure of having my bottom lip medically altered. It was not a Kardashian mega-lip atrocity whatsoever, but when you bite the be’jeepers out of your mouth flap and the thing refuses to heal, it’s time for a visit to the dermatologist.
I knew this trip was inevitable since over the last year, I’ve accidentally munched on this inner lip bump too many times to admit. Each injury would take a week for it to flatten out, but this time I “messed” with it too much and needed to call in the professionals. I was out of my league.
I don’t know how many of you hang out at the dermatologist office during the daytime; but unless you show up after school has let out, the waiting room looks like the parlor room in “Downton Abbey.” Most of the Lords and Ladies had a driver or a private health care provider keeping them company, as well as a heavy sweater with a hanky up their sleeve. I was sporting a menopausal sleeveless top from the designer rack at Target.
Since I was in their office I decided to make my co-pay work overtime, so I asked to throw in a mole check and the “over-50” game of what-is-that-spot-called? Evidently, since I’ve started the real aging process, I have all sorts of bumps, divots and spots popping up on my face. Of course I can only see them with my 15X magnification mirror and my readers, but these facial mars can’t be touched by the embarrassment of magical creams, fountain of youth potions and vitamins overtaking my bathroom cabinets.
I was directed into the patient room, and since I asked for the mole inspection, I was instructed to put on a paper napkin with armholes that supposedly opened in the back. In all of my years, I have to say this is the smallest paper top I’ve ever been instructed to put on. I’m not sure if the worker ran out of adult sizes, or grabbed from the wrong stack, but it became clear immediately that too many of my parts were to be visible for what was scheduled as a lip bump.
After turning, sliding, adjusting, pulling, sucking in and readjusting numerous times, I decided to just let it roll. Hopefully after my appointment, the staff wouldn’t be laughing in the break room, but if they were… you’re welcome.
So to take my mind off of my inappropriately clad attire, I began reading brochures. This can be a positive educational experience or a fear-instilling nightmare, depending on how prone you are to hypochondria. I fared somewhere in the middle. However, I was now leaning toward the idea that I had a flesh-eating bacterium, which would consume my face while I was sleeping. And did I mention I was wearing a napkin?
Well, thank goodness for that mini-napkin because my tiny excision turned into more of a “disaster zone” than any of us had planned. I won’t go into details, but I found dried blood on the back of my neck and in my ear when I got home.
Three stitches later, I was sent on my merry way. Heading to the parking lot, the Lidocaine began to wear off so sharp twinges attacked my face. Next, the swelling came on fast. Just like a boxer who had taken too many to the face, I desperately needed ice to slow the doubling of my lip. Sadly, all I had was a few dusty mints, some spare change and a 15 minute drive to my freezer.
Do you remember comedian Bill Murray in the movie, “Caddyshack”? You know how he appeared as the foolish golf course greens keeper, with his mouth twisted to the side? That droopy, protruding lip created one of the cinema’s best comedic speech impediments.
So in honor of Mr. Murray, my lip turned into an old fashioned topographical map. Funny, yes. Pretty… not so much. And for functionality, sipping through a straw is the only way I can drink. I guess wine is out of the picture for a while.
I returned to the dermatologist after the weekend and had the stitches removed, which by the way is much worse than having them put in. Maybe to take the edge off, I should have sipped chardonnay through a straw and called an Uber for my appointment.
I’m glad to say the swelling has gone down substantially, and my “Caddyshack” days are over. The moral of this ridiculous tale is to not bite your lip in the first place, and in retrospect, drinking wine with a straw is ill advised.
Stacey Hatton, is temporarily having her morning coffee on ice and sips it through a straw, but can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.