Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's That On Your Chin?

In the list of "questions you probably don't ever want to be asked," the question "What's that on your chin?" certainly seems like it should be up there.

It's not as bad as being asked "When are you due?" when you're not pregnant, or "What's up with your hair?" when it looked fine before you left home, but it's still not good.

First, there's the whole "I have no way of looking at my chin to check on it" thing.

Then, there's the frantic "What have I eaten, recently?" thought process, which is frequently followed by "Did the pen I was holding leak?"

As someone with a beard, the self-doubt can be even worse. For instance, the chin area of my beard has already gone grey, while the rest is dark, so did the question mean that the person was wondering what had happened to my beard? Or did it mean that something which I had eaten not so recently had stuck around?

I should probably explain why this came up. You see, I was at the doctor's office, yesterday, for a physical. It was a new doctor (I've been having a hard time finding a doctor I like, so I keep going to the same clinic and trying out new ones each year), and we were about half way through the exam.

We'd already dealt with the "inhale... exhale..." part of the exam. I'd already found out my blood pressure was good, but my pulse was a little high. And he looked at me and said "What's that on your chin?"

First thought: Is this a problem with the fact that my chin has gone white-grey, but the rest has not? (I guessed no.)

Second thought: I've been fasting for 12 hours, so it's not food. Did I get toothpaste in my beard and not notice? (No way to check.)

Third thought: I'll raise an eyebrow, questioningly, and hope for an explanation. (Which is what I did.)

"That bump thing, there. Have you had that for a while?"

Yes. Yes, I have had that bump for a while. When I was a little kid, I had three moles on my chin in a triangle. Sometime in my 20s, one of them got a little bigger, and turned into a bump. It hasn't grown. It hasn't discolored. It hasn't gone away. And, since I seldom actually go at my face with a razor, it hasn't gotten shaved off.

Long story still sorta long: I now have an appointment for a dermatology consult in about 6 weeks. So the next time someone says "What's that on your chin?" the answer might possibly be "a Band-aid."

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