TOTALLY Embarrassed in Front of Dr. Fancypants

TOTALLY Embarrassed in Front of Dr. Fancypants! HILARIOUS True Tale #doctor #medical #embarrassing #funny #teens

So then…my daughter Chloe, age 14, and I enter the lush plush offices of Dr. Blake, dermatologist extraordinaire, with some trepidation.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Dr. Blake. He’s up on the latest techniques and buys the newest high-tech gadgets.

But Dr. Blake doesn’t take insurance so I know this visit will set me back a cool $200 bucks – which is why we only visit him when his trailblazing expertise is required.

As I sign in, Chloe sprawls on the reception area couch and whispers loudly, “Is it impolite if I lay down here and sleep a little?”

“Oh my God, yes, you slug! Sit up straight and play on your phone like a normal person!”

It’s Spring Break so she’d rather be sleeping in than visiting the doctor, but I’m concerned about a rash she developed on the front of her neck, just above her collar bone, a few weeks ago.

(We’d already visited our regular dermatologist TWICE, who prescribed TWO different ointments – which didn’t work.)

Four weeks later, it’s still there!  And NOW there’s a similar brown rash on her ankles!

So I’ve whipped myself into a frenzy because I’m convinced that this rash is merely the EXTERNAL manifestation of something very SERIOUSLY wrong with her INTERNAL organs.

Hence the visit to the expensive Dr. Blake. He ushers us into the inner sanctum of his high-tech Star Trek-like offices. He puts on his super-awesome magnifying laser goggles WITH lights – and leans in to examine the neck rash.

My heart’s pounding, eager to know the diagnosis.

He reaches toward the tray of silver gleaming equipment, each tool more modern and sleek than the next.

He grabs a cotton ball with alcohol and rubs her neck firmly – and the rash DISAPPEARS.

Let me say that again. He rubs alcohol on the rash – AND IT DISAPPEARS.

Now he rubs alcohol on her ankles and THOSE rashes disappear.

WHAT.THE.HELL?

He says, “With dry skin, it’s important to clean well with soap and water when showering.”

WHAT?

She didn’t have a flesh-eating bacterial virus inflammation?

She was just…DIRTY?

He has the good sense to look down discreetly to jot notes in the file, while I shoot a withering glare to my daughter that could melt ALL of her skin into a puddle on the floor.

“Are you kidding me, Chloe? We had to come all the way to the DOCTOR’S OFFICE to find out you don’t SHOWER properly?”

She has the good sense to look sheepish.

(And I assure you — she DOES shower, but evidently needs to apply a bit more enthusiasm to the task.  And to be fair, it was a patch of stubborn dirt, on very dry skin — but STILL.)

She stammers, “Well…I…um…I…”

I burst out laughing. “You don’t work in a coal mine, for God’s sake!”

I sigh dramatically and gather up our purses and sweaters, waiting for Dr. Blake to finish up the paperwork.

He frowns indecisively at the form and murmurs, “There doesn’t seem to be a code for ‘dirt.’”

“OH MY GOD! Do you hear that, Chloe? Do you hear that?” I ask, laughing. “He can’t even find a place on the medical form to code this visit! This is so EMBARRASSING!”

She’s giggling –

He’s chuckling –

And I’m laughing – while simultaneously dying of humiliation – knowing full well he’ll be talking about this at dinner tonight. “Oh, Mavis, you had to see this frantic mother worried her daughter had some disfiguring skin disease — but it turns out her daughter was just dirty!!  Hahaha!  Pass the Chablis.”

Good Lord! You’d think we were train hobos with no access to indoor plumbing.

I’m absolutely mortified, but every time I look at her, and her rash-free neck, I just crack up laughing!

So here is my PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

If YOUR child develops a rash –

You could follow MY brilliant plan to rack up THREE doctor visits, $200 plus two $30 co-pays, and FOUR weeks of medical anxiety –

or you could – you know, try a little SOAP AND WATER.

Your choice.

As for me, I might swing by the fire department for Chloe’s daily cleansing…

Totally Embarrassed (Firemen Hose 430)

— Darcy Perdu

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67 replies on “TOTALLY Embarrassed in Front of Dr. Fancypants

  1. Grace said:

    When my son was a baby, he had a rash that showed up on his neck under his ears. It was brownish also. I asked my mother, who raised six children, about it and she told me it wasn’t a rash. It was dirt. I at least saved myself the expense and embarrassment of a trip to the pediatrician.

    • Ha! I should have called your mom before I headed to the doctor!

    • Kristy said:

      I had something similar happen to my son when he was a baby. He was born with super dark thick hair, which we washed constantly, but you can’t exactly scrub a baby’s head hard. Anyway, when he got to be around 1, his hair started to lighten and turn blonde and he had light brown patches that were visible on his scalp. We thought he had some weird birthmarks, but weeks later the lady that cut his hair let us know “If you rub baby oil on his scalp dirt-patches they will come off.” I am still ashamed a stranger had to tell me my son had dirt-patches I needed to rub off :(

      • Ha! Welcome to the Clueless Club for Moms, Kristy! So far, you, me, and Grace have fessed up to mistaking dirt for skin conditions! LOL! We are not alone!

  2. TinkerBell said:

    Did you at least go back to the first doctor to get your money back? He should be the one who was mortified! He saw it TWICE and didn’t figure out it was dirt! I hope you have a new regular dermatologist, because it sounds like this one is a quack.

    • omg, yes! Can you BELIEVE the first dermatologist gave us 2 DIFFERENT medications to solve the problem (when all it required was a little alcohol or perhaps some Dove/Dial/Irish Spring!! ha!) I know I’m a knucklehead, but this guy got his degree in Skin Stuff! We shan’t be visiting THAT doctor again!

  3. Darcy, Darcy, Darcy Dear.

    Allow me to help a sister out a bit here.

    Make sure when she showers, that she stays in there NO LESS than 1 full hour.

    Yes, that way you are sure any funkified crap on her has made it’s way down the drain.

    That’s the reasoning of my 15-year old. It works for my daughter, so I’m just passing it on.

    1 HOUR. Not one minute less.

    Good luck with that.

    And that $200 plus two $30 co-pays? Water bill.

    And that anxiety? Well, that crap never leaves.

    =)
    Carrie recently posted..Nobody said anything about old bras and hairy legs. No, no you didn’t.My Profile

    • HAAAA! Carrie! That’s what I’m worried about! Right now, I have to remind her from time to time to go shower — but I know the day will soon come when she’ll delight in taking 3 showers a day! For an hour each! Eeeek! I’m going to go buy a power washer and just spray her, the car, and the house all at the same time! :o)

      • That’s pretty brilliant!

        Throw in her room, too. If hers is anything like my girls…a good power washin’ WON’T hurt it one bit.

        =)

  4. I don’t mean to alarm you Darcy, but we have reason to believe that your daughter is an undercover diamond minor.

    I developed a rash when I first moved to Florida that no doctor was able to diagnose or treat. It would come after I got sun and really explode when the tan would fade. It went on for two years before going away on its own.

    Maybe I should have tried alcohol.

    • Ha! Maybe I should have tried alcohol! As in a stiff drink of alcohol after I saw that doctor bill!

      P.S. That’s a very strange rash you had when you first arrived in Florida — and odd that it went away after 2 years! Maybe you were allergic to the state, but then developed a tolerance for it? :o)

  5. Bea said:

    I literally laughed out loud on the bus while reading this! I’m pretty sure you get to hold this over Chloe’s head for approximately the rest of time.

    If it makes you feel better, I have a somewhat similar story, but from the opposite side of the doctor-patient relationship. I’m a first-year medical student, and this past fall I did a preceptorship in emergency medicine. I worked in an ER for four years before med school. For the preceptorship, I was working with a very cool attending physician, who, once she realized that I had some solid clinical experience, started letting me see lower-acuity patients on my own and present them to her (she would also see all of them at some point, but I got to do the full initial history/exam). After reading my first set of charts, she told me that my notes and care plans for patients were better than most of the interns’, so I was feeling pretty darn good about myself.

    Then one fine night shift, she asked me to go see a woman who had come in with what the nurse’s note described as a “rash” on her hand. When I went into the room, the patient, a sweet older lady, explained that she’d been sitting at home reading when she noticed that one of her hands had turned blue. She held up her hand, and it was in fact a dark, mottled bluish color.

    My alarm bells instantly went off; I was thinking she might have some sort of blood clot or compartment syndrome (internal swelling) blocking blood flow to her hand. I grabbed her wrist and felt for a pulse, and was very relieved to find one. Her hand was also warm, with normal strength, sensation, etc. She wasn’t in any pain, and chatted calmly with me through the rest of her interview and exam, which were also totally unremarkable. My relief quickly gave way to confusion as I realized I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

    I hurried to find the attending, and ran through the lengthy list of diagnoses I’d considered, ending with a somewhat panicked, “But I’m just not sure, it doesn’t sound like ANY of those things! Maybe we should call vascular surgery?”

    The attending, having listened politely to my spiel, simply gave a calm smile and said, “Uh-huh. Come with me.” We went back to the room, where she took one look at the patient and asked the one very important clinical question I’d omitted: “Ma’am, are those new pants?”

    Yes, in fact, they were new jeans, and the dye had rubbed off onto the hand that was resting on her lap while she was reading. One good scrub with a warm washcloth later, she was on her way home. I briefly considered spending the rest of the night hiding under the desk in chagrin, but fortunately the attending was very sweet about it!

    • Omigosh, Bea! I can’t WAIT to show your comment to my Mom! First of all, that story is hilarious! And I LOVE that the attending was able to ascertain the cause with her one simple question! And second of all, my Mom had a similar experience! Years ago, she was volunteering in the emergency room when a frantic mother brought in a wailing baby. The baby’s mom said there was something terribly wrong because the baby kept crying — and now his legs were BLUE and maybe his circulation was cut off below the waist! Everyone rushed around, alarmed, to help the baby — while one clever doctor figured out that the baby had been wearing a new pair of — yep, BLUE — pants! The garment not only had cheap dye that had transferred to the baby’s legs — it was also quite itchy, making the baby cry so much. Burn those pants, mama!

      I think it’s so funny that you wanted to hide under the desk the rest of that night, but I suspect the attending was so sweet about it because she probably had a similar experience when she was a med student!

      • Bea said:

        Hahaha, that’s fantastic! Although probably not for the poor baby . . . s/he must have been so uncomfortable!

        • Exactly — he was probably like: “get these damn pants offa meeeee!”

  6. OMG! My friend had the same “rash” when we were in high school and she said that she had a skin condition and everyone believed her!

    Then, the next day after she went to see a doctor, poof, it’s gone. She said the doctor gave her a powerful drug. And everyone still believed her.

    A few years later I knew what it was when I saw my cousin’s skin and he was like “Yeah I’m too lazy to use soap. I’ll scratch them off while I’m watching tv.” Whaaaaaaaat?

    Hahahahaha very funny story though!
    Wann Afzan recently posted..Cool blogger mom from the west.My Profile

    • That’s so funny that your high school friend pretended to be “cured” by a powerful medication, rather than soap and water! ha!

  7. hahaha this is so awesome! I love a happy, non-medical emergency, ending! I also really love a dirty kid! The dirtier my girls are, the happier they are! If she’s getting dirty, she’s having fun and living life out loud. Good for her :) I like Chloe, she sounds awesome.
    I would just get her one of those puffy, scrubby things and maybe some nice-smelling soap in a scent she likes ? I hate showering, too, but when we’re stocked up w/nice smelling options, it’s less daunting.
    Joy Christi recently posted..Park ReviewsMy Profile

    • Joy, I love that you say when kids are dirty it means they’re living life out loud! I agree!
      When the kids come home from school stinky and sweaty, we always say, “It smells like you had a fun day today!” because it usually means they’ve been running around and playing and working up a sweat!
      Also, that’s a great idea about the puffy scrubby things and scented soap! Those will be great additions to the shower!

  8. April said:

    I can’t think of any dermatological issues my kids had that embarrassed me, but when my daughter was about 18 months old, she started acting…off. She would lay on the floor, stare at the ceiling and do nothing. She wouldn’t eat or drink. No fever, no sniffles, just very listless. Being a first time mother, I lasted about 6 hours before I took her straight to the ER. About 2.3 seconds after I checked in, she started crying to be put down. So she could run across the room and play with the little toys and stuff they had. During the next five minutes, she ate every little toddler snack I had in the diaper bag, plus a large amount of watered down juice. I finally asked the nurse at the desk to cancel our visit and went home.

    • Ha! It sounds like she just needed a little change of scenery!
      Maybe in her little 18-month-old head she was thinking, “I’m bored — I’ll just flop around listlessly until they take me to McDonalds or something. Oh what’s this shiny new places with people in white coats and…hey are those TOYS? and other kids? and snacks? OK it’s party time!”

      • Lady Anne said:

        Sometimes, all they need is a change of scenery. Sitting in somebody else’s lap, playing with a different set of car keys. Same old, same old even bores babies.

  9. Okay, well don’t tell anyone this, but I sent my fourteen year old son to the doctor due to what seemed to be a tumor on the back of his head. Turned out to be a GIANT ZIT.

    • lol — “sending soap to your daughter ASAP!” Love that idea! I need to start a soap drive for that child! So funny!

  10. Paul said:

    Ha! That is laugh-out-loud hilarious Darcy!
    Teens are great blog fodder, no end to the amusement (or frustration, depending in how you look at it). On the subject of humourous doctor visits, I once had a trip to emergency that had the staff laughing and the doctor embarrassed. At the time I was driving my tractor trailer and had hooked up to an already loaded flat bed trailer to take it for delivery. I checked all the chains that were used to hold the load on, and determined they were tight. It was a load of steel racking for the oilfield, and during the trip, it shifted a bit and tightened the chains even further (not uncommon and not a bad thing). At the delivery site, I realized that a rookie must have loaded the trailer as the binders (chain tightening devices)were locked with the handles over the side bars on the trailer – meaning there was only about 2 inches of handle to release a thousand pounds of binding force. Typically I’d use a short pipe I carried with me to put over the handles and give me leverage, but the showing handles were too short. I went inside and borrowed a longer, thinner piece of square tubing that I hoped would slide between the handle and the side bar. It was longer than I would have liked – about 42 inches vs the normal 24-30 inches. So, I held the far end of the tubing at the low end by my knees, and tried to slide the open end onto the binder handle. It slid on about 2 inches and then the binder released explosively. All I can remember is seeing the tubing end heading straight for my nose at a high rate of speed while I solidly gripped the other end. It hit my face and flattened my nose, with blood shooting out both sides. So, off to emergency we went. There was no waiting in the small town emerg and they set me up on an examining table right away. They must have been slow because I attracted quite an audience of interns and nurses. They took some X-rays, poked and prodded and made a fuss while we chatted about truck driving. I still hadn’t seen my face in the mirror but it ached from the top of my forehead to the bottom of my upper teeth. By and by the main doctor came striding in, looked at the test results and then at my nose. He was obviously in a hurry, so after a short inspection, he said “Well, Mr. Curran, I’m sorry but there’s nothing we can do for your nose.” I replied jokingly, “Oh my God, is it that bad? I won’t be able to do my modelling any more?” (while dressed as a dirty truck-driver) He blushed and started to stutter: “No, no, that’s not what I meant. I meant that there’s no permanent damage and you can go back to your modelling as soon as it heals.” At that point the other staff and myself cracked up. The doctor blushed even more and one of the staff said: “He’s a truck driver.” Ha!

    • Ha! Love that you flustered the doc with your modeling comment. But just how good-lookin’ ARE you, Paul? Maybe you can moonlight as a model on the side!

  11. Billie said:

    Trust me you are not the only one. My 9 year old daughter developed a very similar rash behind her ears and the front of her neck. We don’t have insurance at all so we were trying various home remedies. I lotioned, oiled, and creamed her skin daily for weeks before her dirt started to wash off. I’m so glad I never took her to the doctor because I don’t think I could have handled the embarrassment. Funny enough alcohol never worked. Coconut oil did soften it enough to scrub and scrape it off with my nail though.

    • So glad I’m not alone! And how odd that it was the front of her neck too, just like my daughter! Making a note to try coconut oil if we have this issue again!

  12. Reindlgator said:

    Gee thanks. Now I am spending extra time in the shower from sheer paranoia that I may not be scrubbing hard enough. I am going to turn into Seinfeld’s Kramer and need an hour at least. He also has the same aversion to baths as Chloe as demonstrated in the cast on leg/peeing in the tub story. That could be the best story on your site. Thanks for brightening my day!

    • Ha! Thanks for remembering Chloe’s cast-on-leg-in-bath story! She really puts me through the ringer!

  13. Lady Anne said:

    Well, my story really comes from the other side of the table.

    I got my hair cut short when I was in the tenth grade, and a day or so later my mother told me my neck was dirty. I went into the bathroom and scrubbed it, and she said it was still dirty. She went and got some sort of red marker and drew around the dirty spot on my neck and sent me back into the bathroom.

    It was a birthmark.

    I have a fairly wide, very light brown mark on the left side on my neck and lower chin. This woman raised me, washed me every day when I was a baby, and didn’t know I had a birthmark? What gives here? Now, I did go to a boarding school from fourth grade until then end of the ninth grade, and I’d always worn my hair long, so maybe she forgot, but sheesh!

    • Lady Anne! I’m laughing over here! I guess the only thing worse than mistaking dirt for a genuine rash — would be mistaking a genuine birthmark for dirt! You poor thing — desperately tryin’ to scrub away “what God done give ya!” ha! And I can’t BELIEVE she circled it in red marker! That’s hilarious!

  14. Don’t even ask about the time I went to the doctor because I felt a tumor in my upper abdomen. Look up xiphoid process…

    Fifteen years later, and I still blush from the shame.

    • OMG, I quickly Wikipedia-ed “xiphoid process” and read that it’s a “cartilaginous extension on the lower 9th vertebrae” — and I thought — “an EXTENSION on the bottom of her VERTEBRAE? does Cassandra have a TAIL?! OMIGOD! How cool would THAT be?” But then I read further that it’s a small extension of the THORACIC vertebrae which is near the sternum in your chest. So I’m sorry you don’t have a tail, but I’m VERY happy you don’t have a tumor, and I’m sure your doctor was very relieved to quell your fears that day. And I LOVE that you still blush about it 15 years later! Holla!

      • You are too kind. It was a horrible, horrible moment. But at least it was a CLEAN xiphoid process!

        • lol! you ARE clean! we’re the dirty dozen over here! ha!

    • Exactly, Roshni! I can’t believe he’s the skin expert and he didn’t realize it wasn’t a rash either! Too funny!

    • When my son was that age, he figured that just the act of standing under a shower spray was cleansing enough. Um, no. Scrub, boy, scrub! :o)

  15. You had me at train hobos. Almost as good as when the daycare lady pointed out our little girl’s head was peeling/flaking. Yeah, that’s from her sunburn. Because clearly we don’t know how to get her out of the sun/put a hat on her/wash her hair. sigh.

    • LOL — always so embarrassing when the teacher points out stuff we should know already! I always try the confused “oh, that’s not MY kid” face — but they never buy it! :o)

    • Great idea! Maybe I’ll invent “Teen Wipes” with a double shot of extra-strength cleanser!

    • Thanks, Liz! You made my day! That’s my favorite line!

  16. kristen said:

    So when my daughter was 5 we were at the beach and I looked at her playing in the sand and realized her lips were blue. She hadn’t been in the water so that couldn’t be it and it was a hot day. She has asthma so as a jumper to conclusions and worst case scenario kind of person I assume she is lacking oxygen. My mother confirms that her lips are def blue. We then rush her to the Emergency Care office, wait for about an hour. The doctor then gets out her light up pen thing shines it on her and says “Has she drank anything with color?” No! Duh I would’ve thought of that! Well as it turns out she must’ve been sucking on a bottle cap from a Gatorade bottle (still in her pocket of her shorts) in the car on the way to the beach. She told us that in front of the Doctor who looked at me like I was the biggest moron he ever laid eyes on. I probably was.

    • Omigod, how embarrassing! Makes you wonder what the heck is in the Gatorade that stains the lips blue. Every time my kids have cherry drinks, they have red rings around their mouths like a drunkard applied their lipstick!

  17. Kelly said:

    It’s not just young kids! When my husband and I first got married he started getting a strange blue rash on his neck. His overly-protective mother was sure he was deathly ill and had a phone consult with the doctor that couldn’t solve the mystery. It turned out that the dye from our new sheets was rubbing off on his skin. She was vastly relieved when her son was cured by rewashing the sheets and taking a shower.

    • Ha! She might have thought you were poisoning him for the life insurance money! Glad to know a quick laundry solved the problem!

  18. Rebecca said:

    The fact that the first dermatologist missed that and 2 ointments didn’t do anything to that dirt definitely shows it was stubborn but DANG REALLY?!?!

    • Exactly! I actually wrote a letter to the first dermatologist to let him know what happened so that perhaps he’ll be a bit more vigilant next time! He was so quick to just prescribe ointments and send us on our way! Blergh!

  19. Andrea said:

    This happened to me with my first. Crusty green rash behind her ear. Saw it while waiting for the DR. for a well child visit, so I mention it. Dried peas. I didn’t wipe her ear/neck area well enough about TWO days earlier. Ick!

    • HAHAHA! Thank you, Andrea, for making me feel better about MY dirty kid! Dried peas! Ha! Love it!

    • Thanks, Mackenzie!! It was hilarious AND mortifying!