last Thursday i drove an hour from Fort Worth across the Tom Landry Freeway to the other side of Dallas to visit a Dermatologist.
why did i do that? because there are literally zero dermatologists anywhere within a forty mile radius of my apartment that take my shite Obamacare.
apparently the company that i have my Obamacare with, AmBetter Health, is some kind of pyramid scheme that doctors are running away from.
the hospital a few miles from my house where i have my G.P. has a dermatology department two floors up, but they stopped accepting new patients with AmBetter back in the beginning of April.
i assume because AmBetter doesn't pay these people.
my G.P. also stopped accepting AmBetter Health in the beginning of April, but because the PSE and i are established patients, they will continue to see us until the end of the year.
i called AmBetter Health to have them navigate me to a Dermatologist that they are still contracting with and the only one that popped up in their system was on the other side of Dallas.
when i called this far-away Dermatologist, they said that they would stop taking my AmBetter Health insurance as of 1, June, but, like my G.P., if i got my foot in the door, they would continue to see me through the end of the year.
i don't really even have an urgent dermatological need, i just want to establish care before it's too late.
i don't know what the PSE is going to do if and when she needs something done for her skin.

my appointment was at 1:30pm last Thursday.
i woke up at 10:30am, left the house at 12:20 and found my way to the place at 1:20pm.
i was apprehensive at first because i seemed to be in a giant hospital complex and people who get their medical care in hospitals are almost always poor and gross [like the situation with my G.P.] but, when i went up to the 5th Floor Dermatolody suite i was plesantly surprised.
i signed in with the front desk, filled out some-but-not-too-many forms, then waited in the lobby with just one old man who wasn't too gross at all for no less then ten minutes before i was called back to an exam room.
in an exam room i made chit-chat with some kind of nurse for a while, told her why i was at the dermatologist, then she left and a lady-Doctor came right in.
the lady-Doctor was friendly and of a good humor.
she looked at the green dots tattooed on my left leg and said “i don't know what i can do about thoes!”
that's my joke, lady! you beat me too it.

after a few minutes of friendly chit-chat about how her father wanted her to be a lawyer, we got down to business.
i had four troubles spots i wanted the Dermatologist to take a look at.
-two skin tags i wanted removed, one in my left armpit and another on my hip, oddly enough.
neither one was all that big, i didn't even notice them until the PSE pointed them out, but skin tags are fucking gross and once the PSE told me about them, they had to be destroyed.
the PSE kept saying that i should just let her take care of them herself, the PSE is always picking at her own body in nerve-wracking and unhygienic ways, but i don't want to let her do that to me because it's creepy. that's what professionals are for.
-some kind of hard wart-like thing on my belly.
i want to say it's a keratosis, but i could be mistaken.
i just Googled 'keratosis' right now and the image results that came up made me queasy. i do not have that.
anyways, whatever the hell it is that manifested itself on my belly was unseemly and i wanted it destroyed.
-finally, over the course of our Great Adventure around the world and out in the sun last year i developed a freckle on my left forearm that was just a little to big for me to tolerate.
i have a few other freckles on my forearm but they are nice and small.
this bastard was too big to be dainty and kept drawing my eye to it, so i wanted it carved out.
sometimes a Dermatologist will give me a hard time about the things i want them to take off of my skin, they will say to just leave it [then, why the fuck are you in business?] or that my insurance won't cover whatever it is because it's cosmetic.
this lady, though, she told me to pop up on the exam chair and she got right down to it.

for the two skin-tags the Dermatologist sprayed them with a topical numbing agent and then snipped them off with scissors, like the PSE might have done at the house.
that makes me uncomfortable, i was hoping she would spray them with the liquid nitrogen, but she said this was was best.
it didn't hurt, it's just weird to be pruned like a banzai.
the Dermatologist did use the liquid nitrogen spray for the possible-keratosis on my belly.
as for the too-large freckle on my arm, she gave me a shot of a local anesthetic then went in there with a scalpel to carve it out.
i was done with all the procedures within three minutes.
i thanked the lady-Dermatologist for her efforts then went back to the lobby to settle up.

i was afraid that the Dermatologist might try to hit me with a big bill but she told the nurse that there was no charge for the skin-tags and she didn't say anything at all for the possible-keratosis.
the only thing the front desk tried to charge me for was a “biopsy” for the freckle on my arm but i told them to just send the bill to my shite AmBetter insurance.
i have a $600 maximum out-of-pocket deductible, but for various reasons, i think i already hit it [see tomorrow's post] so everything else including this fake “biopsy” freckle excavation is now on AmBetter's dime.
i paid a $5 co-pay and that was it.

freshly trimmed and pruned, i went down to the parking lot and found the PSE and the Monster waiting in the car.
they had come along with me on the trip to Dallas because i thought it might be fun for us to make an afternoon out of it.
while i went to the Dermatologist the PSE took the Monster to a Dollar Store to buy some house supplies, then, reunited, we looked up how to get to Dealey Plaza on the Google Maps.
we figured we can't live this close to Dallas and not go see where President Kennedy got shot.

the PSE and i drove to the edge of Downtown Dallas and paid $0.75 to park at a metered space on the street for a half hour.
we walked three blocks towards Dealey Plaza, passing by some kind of courtyard where police were mingling with disheveled homeless-looking people and everybody was carrying rifles.
at first we thought it was some kind of Open Cary deal were gun-nuts converge in public places with AR-15s to make the point that they can, but the people didn't look like gun-nuts, they looked like crackheads.
then a cop got on a loudspeaker and started talking and all the crackheads lined up with their rifles for some kind of procession.
our next guess as to what was going on was some kind of police academy graduation but, again, i can't imagine that that many police recruits are street people.
we never figured out what the hell kind of cops-and-homeless-people-with-guns event was going on.
Dallas is an odd place.

the PSE, the Monster and i came upon Dealey Plaza and oriented ourselves.
all around there were people with little booths set up selling commemorative conspiracy theories and different tours you can pay to go on, but everything that there was to see was there to be seen for free.
there was the Texas Book Depository, which is now some kind of county administration building.
there is a museum on the 6th Floor where Oswald fired his shots but they don't let you up there without paying a fee.
there was the podium where Abraham Zapruder was filming everything.
there was the grassy knoll and the wooden fence behind which E. Howard Hunt and Woody Harelson's dad and Ted Cruz's dad all secretly fired the shot that killed the President.
and there, in the middle of a lane of traffic was an X indicating precisely where Kennedy's brains got blown out.
the PSE, the Monster and i walked the grounds for a while, looking at all the angles and, yeah, sure, it's as good a place to murder a President as any.

after seeing all that there was to see the PSE, the Monster and i walked back to our car.
the cops and the homeless were still in the middle of their rifle pageantry.
we got in our car and drove off down Elm Street, the exact same route Kennedy was trying to take before Oswald intervened.
we survived the trip with our brains still in our heads.

//[ab irato ad astra]
.

July 2017

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