Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Warts and all?

I like plain speaking doctors, it is always useful to be clear about what the issue is, and after all what’s wrong with the odd word like ‘Fat’ when bandied about between friends?

I’ve had a fair bit of medical plain speaking in my time, mostly it has to be said, during periods when I was very fat, pregnancy rather than cream cake related, I hasten to add.   There was the young obstetrician in London who answered my query about whether inducing the baby that had taken up what seemed like permanent roost in my womb, would end with a second caesarean scar.  Having already gained what the obstertrician in Hong Kong referred to as the ‘Mark of Zorro’ across my stomach with baby no.1, I was anxious to avoid the same fate with baby no. 3.  He looked up casually from his notes, and remarked that in his experience women of my age were a bit like old bangers, once you cranked them up and started them they just ran and ran.  I should point out here I was 34 at the time, admittedly not spring lamb status but had never really considered myself in the old banger  or mutton category.

There seems to be something about my insides that brings out the worst in male doctors.  There was the radiologist who was searching for a lost IUD, (don’t ask, I don’t know why these things happen to me), who remarked with satisfaction when he found it, “One good tug and they’ll get that out” before realising the word ‘tug’ should never be used with regard to someone’s innards, unless you are addressing some kind of fowl.  Turkey or no turkey, I laughed, and in fact we parted best of friends, overcome by such giggles that we reeled out into the waiting room together in the grip of the type of hysteria that can have hardly reassured the legions of pregnant women waiting for their own ultrasounds.

My latest problem is not with the charming doctor who conducted my recent skin check, but with the terminology he employed to describe my blemishes.  When a woman gets to a certain age, and yes, we are now talking old banger status, she does not expect to be told the lumps and bumps that add character to her face are actually ‘age warts’.  Plain speaking is all very well but whilst the dewy complexion vanished like the proverbial dawn some years ago, I don’t want to think of myself as akin to Gerda the frog with ‘age warts’ dotted across my face.  If the medical profession can bend the rules and call wrinkles, laughter lines, why has no one rebranded beastly ‘age warts’.  How much better if I could emerge having had a few ‘You Go Girl marks’ or “Glamour bumps’ pointed out, ‘Age warts’ are benign and generally appear after the age of 40 so there is no reason why they have to be branded with words that strike repulsion into the female heart – though I did discover during a quick google check that they did in fact used to be called ‘Senile Warts’ so I suppose I can’t really complain about ‘Age warts’ too much but as for that other classic sign of aging, the hairs on my chinny chin chin,, don’t start me on that one or I really will be tugging some unfortunate doctor’s giblets out.

Age Warts - Pah! Like these Kookaburras I laugh in the face of them.

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