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clem gets actinic keratosis
by james d pearce

actinic keratosis?? ~

well ~

around 1975 i went to a doctor ~ he found some things called basal cell carcinomas ~ said they were nothing much ~ cut 'em out ~

around 1991 i went back to a doctor ~ he found a blocked artery ~ said it wasn't anything much ~ just ran a wire through there and punched it out ~

a couple weeks later i asked him how i was doing ~ when could i cut the grass again ~

he said, "cut the grass ~ cut the grass ~ heck, go home right now and cut the grass ~ (only he didn't say "heck") ~

couple of months ago my neck started itching something terrible ~ i mean terrible ~ down around below my adam's apple ~ (if you're an eve, you probably don't have one) ~

went to the doctor ~ little hindu or pakistani fellow ~

nice fellow ~ real smart ~

he asked my trouble ~ i said my neck itched something pretty horrible and i was thinking i might have some more of those basal cell carcinomas that were cut out back in '75 ~

he looked at it and said "you a seaman?" ~ i said "no, but i've been out on a canoe a lot" ~

he said "skin rash" ~

i said "skin rash"? ~

he said, "yeah, actinic keratosis ~ comes from being out in the sun a lot" ~

i said, "well, yeah, i did always work mostly at night ~ stayed outdoors a lot in the daytime" ~

he said "actinic keratosis ~ i'll give you something for it ~ medicare will pay for it ~ called efudux ~ put it on twice a day for two weeks and come back ~

"when you come back, all the old skin will have blistered off and you'll have all new pretty skin around your neck ~ no more itching" ~

i said, "sounds great ~ i'll take some, but medicare won't pay for it because i am on an HMO and they don't pay anything for medicine" ~

he had a little machine in the palm of his hand that he was operating with some kind of pencil ~ he jiggled it around and said ~ "i'll write you a prescription " ~

then he said, "hmmmmmm ~ gonna cost you $93 per tube" ~

I said, "good Lord, $93 a tube ~ no thanks, I'll keep the actinic keratosis" ~

he said, "well, i'm going to write you a prescription anyway ~ then i will have done my duty anyway ~"

i said, "thanks, doc, goodbye" ~

he said, "if you really do get any more of those basal cell carcinomas, come back ~ i'll fix 'em ~

he said, "i don't cut 'em off ~ i freeze 'em off ~ liquid nitrogen" ~

so now I have actinic keratosis ~ and sometimes it itches like heck just under my adam's apple (if you're an eve, you probably don't have one) ~


- retired newspaper worker (50 years on the job)~ mostly in production ~ some in editing etc

more about james d pearce


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