11 July 2007

You Get What You Pay For?

Last summer, I went to the in-network dermatologist and had a cyst removed from my forehead. It cost me a $25 co-pay. But it came back. In December, he removed it again, for another $25 co-pay. It came back again. He then suggested that I see a plastic surgeon. Instead, I went to the fancy Fifth Avenue dermatologist who doesn't take insurance, and does charge an arm and three legs. Last week, he cut the thing out, and put in subdermal stitches as well as five exterior stitches. All told, the bill for the consultation and for the surgery came to somewhat more than my deductible, but I won't get anything back because the insurance company will knock it down to "usual and customary" which will be less than the deductible. Argh. But I think the thing is well and truly gone.

Miss M. came along when I had the stitches out on Monday. They were all tickled to see a kid in the office, and the nurse came in and took her picture with the Polaroid camera they use to document skin ickies. She sat and watched the photo appear before her very eyes, while the doctor pulled out my stitches. I'd forgotten how magical a Polaroid can be. However, it is a strange picture, taken about3 inches away from her face.

I did learn one thing while he was suturing me - catgut is not made from cats. How did I get to be 46 years old and not know that? He wasn't even using catgut; he was using a synthetic dissolving suture.


S said...

It is an interesting photo, you're right. Is she freckled, or is that just the texture of the Polaroid?

niobe said...

Heh. On a related topic, there's a poem which describes the music produced when the violinist draws across "The intestines of the agile cat, the tail of the noble hoss."

But violin bows really are made with horsehair.

painted maypole said...

But it is still made from intestines, which is not real pleasant to think about.

Love the freckles!

Anonymous said...

Argh !!! I have a full body derm check up tomw at 5! I hope the cyst stays gone for good; those full prices are staggering but I guess in Paris it would be free! Love the close of Miss M's face; hope you have the real polaroid!

Julie Pippert said...

Oh insurance and health care. Sigh.

And yes, the magic f Polaroid! Cool photo.

Anonymous said...

I had those same kind of dissolving stitches deep under the surface for a thing that was taken out near my shoulder blade. The plastic surgeon failed to tell me that he had put those in and when the top layer healed, I flipped out because I could feel the sublayer like a row of pearls under my skin. yikes.

I really love that photo.

Anonymous said...

My doctor friends all say that if it's on the face--go to the plastic surgeon first. The plastic surgeon isn't afraid to "go deep" to get it all because he/she knows that he/she can fix it.