Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Thing Under My Eye

So this morning I called the base clinic to make an appointment for myself.

See, this small cyst has formed underneath my eye. It's been there for about a year. I didn't think much of it. I just ignored it, basically.

But when my Mom came to visit she freaked out.

"What's that underneath your eye, why haven't you had it checked out, what's that underneath your eye??"

I kept telling her I'd get to it, that I'd make an appointment.

But she visited two more times after the first freakout and she'd be all,

"What's that underneath your eye, why haven't you had it checked out, what's that underneath your eye??"

Then, because she calls every Sunday she'd always segue the conversation to the cyst.

"So. Have you had it checked out?"

"Er. No?"

*Cue motherly lecture on taking better care of myself here*

I joked with Tom that the cyst appeared after I pushed Natalie out. Because I pushed so hard a small mound appeared on my face.

So this morning I made an appointment.

"Actually," the woman on the other end told me, "there was a cancellation this morning. You can come in at 9:20."

The problem with that was, Tom was in training and couldn't watch the kids.

"I'd have to bring the kids in though," I said. "My husband is at training.."

The woman sighed. "Well. I'll just pretend I didn't hear that then. I mean the doctor prefers no children but it happens.."

So I said I'd take the appointment.

I wasn't really worried about Tommy. He can sit now that he's on medication. It was Natalie that worried me. She doesn't like to sit. And she grows offended if I dare ask her to stay put. She'll shake her head definately at me and then slide off the chair and wander off.

I called Tom next, hoping that perhaps he'd be able to watch the children.

When he answered I went,

"Hi, can you watch the children so I can go to an appointment?"

"Amber? Is that you?"

Is that ME? Who else would it BE?

"Um yes. I was able to get an appointment today for that cyst under my eye but they prefer no children. So do you think they'd let you off for an hour..??"

"Amber, we're about ready to head for the field to do some exercises. No," Tom said bluntly.

"And you can't even ask?"

"No." Tom's voice was stern.

I let out a long sigh. "Fine. Goodbye."

I didn't want the doctor to get annoyed with me for having to bring in the children.

So I figured if I dressed Natalie in an adorable outfit, that all annoyances would melt away and he'd just think, "Aww. Cute baby in a cute outfit."

Not that men get that sort of thing.

Actually, maybe they do. Because once I had Natalie all decked out and this guy went, "That's the cutest thing ever," gesturing to Natalie's outfit.

Which surprised me because Tom rarely notices clothes. I could walk out in a stained shirt and he wouldn't bat an eyelash. He'd just be all, "Ready to go?"

I put Natalie in this:

And no, she wasn't watching a cartoon. She was laughing at Matt Lauer. I always have The Today Show on in the mornings. Apparently Matt amuses her.

We headed off to the clinic and Tommy kept saying, "This appointment isn't for me. It's for you.."

"Yes Tommy. Just for me.."

"No shots?"

"No shots," I confirmed.

I checked in and we sat down in the waiting area. Natalie kept trying to escape.

Then we were called back and a nurse took my blood pressure.

It was only 91/61.

"Low blood pressure," the nurse muttered as she wrote something down.

Uh oh.

"Is that bad? Am I dying?" I blurted out.

Then I started to panic.

Oh my gosh, maybe the cyst is worse than I thought. Maybe it's sucking the life out of me! Oh my gosh!

"It's fine," the woman assured me.

It may have been because I was tired. Normally I was napping at that point, you see. I am not a morning person.

Plus, all I had to eat was a muffin and a few sips of water.

I was asked some questions. Then I was asked if there was a history of skin cancer in my family.


What if I had CANCER?


"No family history," I said, pretending I wasn't freaking out.

Oh my gosh, what if I were the first cancer-patient in the family and I DIED? How would Tom raise the children? Diapers freak him out and he once put Tommy in PJ bottoms and a regular t-shirt as an outfit for the day. He'd be so confused. All he knows how to make is mac and cheese. My children would probably turn ORANGE from all the mac and cheese they'd be forced to consume. And what if he re-marries some scary woman who tries to ship my children off to Ethiopia for boarding school? She'll claim it's for their own good and my children would be forced to pee over a little hole in the ground and..


The nurse was staring at me, looking concerned.

I blinked, snapping out of my thoughts. I really need to stop daydreaming. It tends to freak people out. Suddenly I go comatose, like the people in that movie Awake. They were once alert and then, *snap*, nothing.

"The doctor will be in shortly," the nurse said, gathering my chart.

She opened the door and peeked out.

"Actually," she said. "The doctor is in with another patient. It might be awhile."


It's ALWAYS awhile at military clinics. I'm almost always told that.

"Sorry, doctor is in with another patient, it might be awhile.."

I think I'd be surprised if they DIDN'T say that to me.

So I sat there in the chair, wringing my fingers in my lap, hoping that I wasn't going to die while my son prattled on about the skeleton that was set up in the corner of the room.

"There's the RIBS, Mommy," he said.

"Yup," I said, distracted.

And Natalie walked back and forth around the room.

Twenty minutes later, the doctor walked in.

Tommy grew shy and hid behind my leg and Natalie paused in her walking and stared up at him.

The doctor didn't even look surprised to see the children there. He said hello to both of them and apologized for keeping me waiting.

"It's okay," I said.

Then he took a look at my cyst.

"Yup, it's just a cyst," he said, squeezing at it.

"So not cancer?" I asked.

"Not cancer. A cyst. I could remove it but I think I'm going to refer you to dermatology. They'd do a better job since it's on the face," he said.

He sat down at his computer and typed some things into it. Then he said, "In about ten business days you'll get a letter from Tricare on how to make an appointment."

Because I have to go off base, you see.

And then that was it.

He was finished within ten minutes.

I think they'll have to freeze it off or something. Which makes me a tad nervous.

But I pushed two human beings from my crotch so it's no big deal.

Now I can tell my mother that I made an appointment for the cyst so she'll leave me alone. I'll be seeing her next month (we're all going to the beach in Texas) and now I won't be lectured.

Actually I will.

I'm still lectured about going to the dentist. I'm just too afraid. Mom is all, "Suck it up!"

But I panic, it's not an excuse, I seriously PANIC.

I need to find a dentist that accepts Tricare and will knock me out.

I'm also lectured on chewing my nails. If I do it when I'm around my Mom she'll calmly place a hand over mine and lower it down.

But she means well.

Also, she's taking me to The Melting Pot when I visit.


If you've never been, you should go. It's awesome.

It's just Mom and I because fondue creeps Tom out.

"It looks weird," he said with a wrinkle of his nose.

So he'll stay back with my dad and the children (because it's not a child friendly place..your table turns into burners and children can burn little fingers easily I imagine) and they'll order pizza.

I'm excited. The beach will be fun too. Though at first Mom was all, "Oh there is no internet at the condos," when I asked.

"NO INTERNET?" I shrieked.

I probably nearly rendered her deaf over the phone but I couldn't help it. She said no internet like it was nothing.

"Amber, honestly, you'll be with your family. Do you really need internet?" Mom questioned.

Well yes. Since we'll be there for a week it's pertinent that I get online.

"I mean I love my family," I assured her. "But I'd like to be able to get online.."

Then Mom checked the website and informed me that I could get online in the lobby.



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