You all, I mentioned that I was tired of taking my clothes off. I am tired of someone looking at my skin with a magnifying glass and lifting my shirt to listen to my lungs. I’m exhausted by remembering to wear a short-sleeved shirt for flu shots and blood pressure cuffs. I do not want to put on another gown that opens in the back…or, for that matter, the front. I am tired of feeling lucky that I have access to such good doctors who love to see me naked. I’m tired of taking my clothes off.
Yesterday, my somewhat chilly but she caught the melanoma so I can put up with it dermatologist looked me up and down for more suspicious areas. I felt very rogue delaying this appointment from September to December but no one wants to see that many bug bites with a magnifying glass. Fortunately, my living on the edge didn’t result in any cancer getting a leg up and I’m free from her ministrations for a year. I’m not the moley sort so there’s not much to look at. Even so, I’m tired of taking my clothes off.
Tomorrow I’ll be having my breasts smashed flat as part of the welcome package for turning 40. My gynecologist is on it. She scheduled the appointment before I ever got to her office for my annual. I would probably be more okay with this if I hadn’t been taking my clothes off so frequently, or if I hadn’t been xrayed with my fantastic nipple shields this summer, or if it didn’t involve turning my breasts into pancakes. Take ibuprofen, she suggested. I refrained from suggesting she bite me. Instead I said, I am tired of taking my clothes off.
It’s just the shirt, Debra said. Just the shirt.
I’m aware that the alternative to taking my clothes off is certain death. Probably instantaneous. And I’m aware that I probably have more medical problems than most. Maybe this will mean I live longer. But maybe it won’t. I am so tired of taking my clothes off.