How is this for being a few pegs shy of normal? I’m an obnoxiously happy camper today because I had a freckle (okay it’s an age spot) removed from my scalp. I’ve had this for at least 10 years, but all of a sudden I’m panicked that it’s cancerous. It wasn’t but the doctor offered to freeze it off anyway. The poor guy tried to keep from going cross-eyed over my prattle of potential ailments because it seems I was worried about a lot more.
“I had chicken pox in my thirties. I was told (or maybe I read it online) it could’ve scarred my lungs. Could that be mistaken for TB scarring?” Before he could answer, I blurted out my next fear, “I had the first set of hepatitis shots when I went to Ghana, is that going to give me a false positive?” His eyes go big when I say, “I’d know if I had syphilis, right?” And now that I think about it he may have thought I did because doesn’t syphilis eventually cause you to go insane?
After advising me to breathe and to explain what was really bothering me, I told him that I’m afraid. I’ve quit my job of 10 years and with it will go my insurance. I have until May 31st before my American benefits run out. What worries me the most, though, is going to Abu Dhabi in August only to get sent back because of some unknown illness —- with no job and no health insurance.
The doctor calms me down by reminding me of how healthy I am (my kids have seen him way more than I have in the 12 years we’ve been going there), and then he tells me what he can do to help me out. He throws in some extra tests to be done with my blood work, gives me my second round of hepatitis shots (apparently my blood work will show that I have the antibodies not the disease), and offers to do a TB test (which I declined because I had one done a few years ago at work).
“Relax. You’re going on a fantastic adventure,” he says. “Now let’s get that spot removed for you.”
As I heard the nitrogen crackling away, I almost cried tears of relief. It’s going to be okay. I’m really going, and nothing freaky is going to deport me. Yes, the enormity of my upcoming move sometimes overshadows my excitement over it, but it is all going to work out. Now I can go back to obsessing over what I’m packing, what I’ll be teaching, where I’ll be living. Too bad the doctor can’t cure me of those worries.
About Bettina Bennett
Bettina Bennett is currently a Cycle two and three educator here in the UAE. She is also a Teach UAE Magazine Blogger and Guest Contributor.