I hate doctors. This hatred is fueled by my hatred of the insurance industry. As a self-employed person, I get the shortest end of the insurance stick imaginable. I pay for my entire premium out of pocket and I have a deductible that would make you crumple into a little pile and suck your thumb. The economic collapse is nothing compared to my fucking routine check up.
I don’t understand why we need to depend on our employers for insurance. Why would I want my boss to be the one to determine whether I get health coverage or not? If he has the ability to determine whether I stay employed, he in essence has this power. And that seems ludicrous. That is a degree of control that is god-like, and we are just handing it to a mere mortal who most likely has an associate’s degree and can’t find his way around an Excel spreadsheet.
But I digress. Today I went to the dermatologist. I, like Kim Kardashian, have psoriasis. But unlike Kim Kardashian, I don’t wiggle my butt and make $100 bills fall out of T.V executives’ pockets. So I have to pay for my treatment, which is incredibly humiliating and expensive.
If you don’t know, psoriasis is an auto-immune disease that is still somewhat of a scientific mystery but, in part, shows itself as scaly patches on the skin. It’s not painful. It’s just unsightly. And I’ve become pretty comfortable baring it all despite the affliction. It’s taken years for me to get to this point mentally, but understand that I had to endure years of ridicule in junior high. Once your self-esteem has been razed so many times, you kind of just learn to enjoy the unobstructed views.
So I was at the doctor today because my psoriasis is in a bit of a flare-up mode. And so the best thing for this is special light treatment. This light treatment is like a tanning bed except you stand, it’s not warm and it shoots you with radiation. These special UV beta waves just pummel you from all sides and mutate your skin cells or something so that they start doing what they are supposed to do, which is to say not turning into weird psoriasis patches.
Part of the procedure entails rubbing this tar-based solution on your spots (am I turning you on with this shit yet), which helps increase the effectiveness of the light treatment. Well, as I was disrobing privately in the room (at least the nurse preserved for me a modicum of dignity), “Unchained Melody” starts playing on the overhead speaker. I fuck you not. “Unchained Melody.” The Ghost song.
As the Righteous Brothers’ vocals swelled “I need your love…,” I found myself lathering this sulfur smelling tar lotion all over my spots, and I couldn’t help but feel like this was some kind of romantic moment with myself, as if my body was a lump of clay I was manipulating with my tender hands. I swear I could feel Patrick Swayze’s presence as I stepped into that light booth and was zapped with an insane amount of radioactivity.
And then, within a minute, it was all over. A new song came on the speaker. I got dressed and walked to the desk to pay my bill.
Maybe it was all worth it. Maybe there is a deeper message here. Like maybe taking care of your health and treating yourself with compassion and care is worth more than an outrageous medical bill. Or maybe we need insurance reform, and I need a hug. I don’t know. Think about it.