In our family, it is a well-known fact that Ma makes the best pikelets in the world. Growing up, we had them most weekends and they were always presented to us as a treat; leading us to believe we got them because we were special; when, in fact, we got them because we were poor. Yes, pikelets are the poor man’s bread.
Nonetheless, we loved them and still do. Indeed, since Ma’s conversion to capitalism and her subsequent ability to afford bread, they have been in short supply and, as such, have become highly valued by my brother, sister and I.
This being so, you can imagine my annoyance when I received a text from my brother declaring that Ma had made a whole batch of pikelets just for him.
How had he come by such prize? Turns out they were pity-pikelets. You see, he’d turned up at our parent’s house looking like this:-
No, despite appearances, it was not a lobotomy; rather, he’d had a teeny tiny mole removed. To be fair, it was cancerous – even so…a whole batch a pikelets to himself???
With a hankering for pikelets and, coincidently, a Doctor’s appointment schedule for the following day, I decided, while there, I would trot out a few moles of my own. After all, when I go to the Doctor’s, I like to have a few ailments to discuss, to make the trip worthwhile.
So there I was at the Doctors. First I told him about a lump I’d noticed. He asked me how long I’d had it. I said, 5 years. I could tell by the look on his face that it would’ve been more appropriate to say 5 weeks…or even 5 months. Given the awkwardness of the situation, I decided not to tell him why I had left it so long.
You see, I had been subscribing to my Ma’s philosophy on lumps – leave it alone and it’ll go away (strange considering she was proven alarmingly wrong on 3 occasions – though she wouldn’t be without us). Ma’s leave it alone philosophy about sums up her entire medical ethos and, for the most part, I think she is probably right. After all, trotting off to the doctor’s willy nilly, with all manner of diseases one has diagnosed on the internet, can be embarrassing – like the time my suspected cervical cancer turned out to be constipation.
Next I showed him my moles.
Now, the majority of GPs wouldn’t know a cancerous mole from a remnant of Cadbury Flake eaten in bed the night before; hence the need for a Dermatology Department – to which one would typically be referred. I showed the Doctor my most impressive moles and, sure enough, he said they looked suspect and would have to be seen by a dermatologist. Only, he added, I wouldn’t be going with them. You see, unfortunately for molely Islanders, a Dermatology Department is not available – so all moles have to be sent away, detached from their hosts, to determine whether they need to be removed or not.
A removal appointment was made for the following week and any apprehension I fealt was allayed by the thought of fresh warm pikelets.
Soon the big day arrived and I trotted off to the Minor Ops Clinic. Naturally, having never been a fan of flesh gouging, I felt very nervous when I was sitting in waiting room.
I needn’t have been. When I went into the theatre, the gouging lady took one look at my moles and declared: They’re not moles, they’re age spots. And, to make matters worse, she wouldn’t gouging them out. With my dreams of pikelets slowly slipping away, she then informed me she was going to freeze them off (perhaps all was not lost). I asked her if it hurt, and she said, yes. She was right, but I endured.
After my procedure I dropped in on my parents. Knowing that old-age spot freezing doesn’t have quite the same ring as cancerous mole gouging, and without a fancy bandage (I didn’t even have a plaster), I knew my chances of scoring some pikelets was limited, but it might at least be worth something.
And so it was.
A stale scone
Naturally I was disappointed; until, that is, I found out that my Brother’s cancerous mole turned out to be the non-melanoma kind…so there’ll be no more pity-pikelets for him either!