In my 28 years of existence, I have never been in to get the moles checked. I have a lot of them. In fact, I have a total of 12 moles just on my face. All of them are perfectly round and not the kind of moles you think of when you see the Wicked Witch of the West.
A colleague of mine said she was going to get a check up, and of course, that sparked my hypochondriac self to get an appointment as well.
With my nose stuck in my Google Maps on my iPhone to find the place somewhere in Stockholm, I trudged off on a sunny afternoon (of course, with the notion in my head ‘I hope this sun doesn’t give me skin cancer on the way.’)
When I got to the doctor’s office, I paid immediately 350 kronor ($52) and had my Swedish medical card stamped. In Sweden, when you reach around $150 dollars in a year of medical visits, you get everything else for free. Wicked.
The doctor was a tall Swedish man, who had slightly sweaty palms and a look on his face that can only be described as a ‘cartoon-ish look of horror’ because…..
I sat down. He sat down opposite of me. Then there was about 30 seconds of staring at each other before I finally said “so this is my first time to a skin doctor…” with a big smile on my face.
Doc with the thickest Swedish accent: ‘Oh……ehhh..does yur merther and ferther, brahder and si-sters have anything?’
Me: “No…I mean they have a lot of moles I guess, but no history of skin cancer or anything like that.”
“So why are you here?” He asked. I quickly explained it’s a good thing to do and he said “Ja…ja…a once in a lifetime thing!” Right…
The doctor looked at me again and we just stare for 15 seconds. Then he takes a big, over exaggerated gulp that did everything right to fit in with his cartoonish, gangly appearance. “Would you…err…uhhhhhhh….like to take….uhhhh”
He made a really weird, flappy hand gesture towards his shirt, which I knew, according to my friend, that I had to take off my shirt so he could see my skin to check. “My shirt? Yes….” I replied.
After all this, he took his little tool to look at my moles one by one, said everything looked fine, and then, it was over. This all took about 8 minutes.
I proceeded to ask him for recommendations on the best sunscreens to buy.
He had no suggestions on this topic.