Yesterday we went to the dermatologist for Grace. She has a very large birthmark on her left hip, what is called a congenital nevus. It needs to be monitored regularly in case it turns malignant. I would have to say it’s at least three inches wide by an inch tall. It’s dark brown and has lots of black hair growing out of it.
When she was born, the mark was much, much lighter in color. It was more like a brown shadow against her fair skin, and it had two black spots inside the shadowed area. But as she’s grown, it’s gotten darker, and it’s kept pace with her growth. Those black spots have disappeared, which is apparently a very good thing. So now it’s just a very, very large mole.
We had just seen the dermatologist in Washington sometime in June, or thereabouts. We chose to go ahead and visit the dermatologist as soon as we moved here so that in case her birthmark changed rapidly, the doctor would have some sort of base line to work from. He would know what it’s supposed to look like.
By the same token, we’re going to the pediatric allergist tomorrow. This way, if she ends up suffering a major allergic reaction to nuts or peanuts, we’ll already have a relationship established with an allergist here in Rhode Island.
I wasn’t terribly pleased with our old dermatologist. He was very greasy and had zero social skills. I wanted to plunk him down into a hot, soapy bath and then enroll him in a southern finishing school. But alas, I was never able to achieve either one. The bath would have gone a long way toward making me feel more kindly disposed towards him, but how do you tell a doctor he needs to bathe?
You’d think a doctor would keep himself clean.
At least our old dermatologist didn’t push me to get Grace’s birthmark removed. But now that I see her record from his office, I realize he really wanted me to have it removed. He just wasn’t pushy about it.
This new dermatologist is very, very clean. There’s one point in his favor right there! He too would rather not remove Grace’s birthmark, and his reasoning makes a ton of sense to me. See, they could remove the birthmark to prevent it from turning malignant. How could something turn bad if it doesn’t even exist anymore? But the thing is, they can’t get all the cells that make up her congenital nevus. There’s a good chance there would still be a cell or three left when they remove the visible part of her birthmark, and what if those few cells left over turn malignant? How would I even be able to tell when all I can see is a scar?
At least with her birthmark still on her hip, I can check it out visually for changes, which should alert me to it turning malignant.
This dermatologist really supports me in not having her birthmark removed, which pleases me greatly.
Then again, it doesn’t take much to excite me.
Case in point: So yesterday after Grace’s dermatology appointment, I didn’t really want to go home. We wandered around Thames Street in downtown Newport, checking out all the little boutiques down there as well as enjoying the sunset (photos to the right). We bought Grace some Crocs with the faux fur lining, since I find them so extremely comfortable.
We were done wandering by about 5:45pm last night, and Kurt suggested we pop up to Warwick since neither of us really wanted to go home. We ended up at Kohl’s, where I managed to find a ton of stuff for the winter for the entire family. Kurt got a new fleece zip-up hoodie to replace his Navy sweatshirt. I get so irritated when he wears that darn thing because everyone and their uncle who has ever been in some way, shape or form related to the US Navy has that stupid sweatshirt, and I get tired of seeing it everywhere I go. Navy sweethearts in particular are terribly guilty of wearing a Navy hoodie and the matching sweatpants everywhere they go.
Plus the Navy seal printed on the front of the hoodie is composed of highly reflective materials to make the wearer more visible when he’s out PT-ing in the dark. But it makes for a very bad photo when you use the flash. I have photos of Kurt standing at the podium in the Pentagon, the same one from which press conferences are given (one of the perks of having a father who works in the Pentagon), in which he’s wearing his Navy hoodie — and all you can really see is the bright flash reflecting off his hoodie.
So definitely a new black hoodie was in order.
Grace got a few shirts, a couple of new dresses, as well as a new pair of jeans, and I got a couple of new winter shirts. At the register, the clerk rang up all our purchases — and Kurt noticed we were only paying 50¢ in tax and pointed it out to the clerk. That’s when we found out that Rhode Island does not charge sales tax on things considered necessities, things like clothes, shoes, and groceries.
We were paying tax solely on the book that Grace had picked out. Everything else was tax free. And here we were, used to Washington’s high sales tax — anywhere from 8.6% to 8.9%, depending on which municipality you were shopping in. Only groceries were tax-free in Washington.
I got so excited that I kept yammering away at the clerk. I’m sure she thought I was some sort of crazy person just let out of the asylum, but any way I can save money gets me excited! It’s thrilling!!
I am so easily excited, it’s not funny. But I’m okay with it!