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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.


When I was a university student a young doctor at the university clinic removed all of the small red spots on my torso. I was very grateful to him because there were so many of them. Other members of my family have those spots, but I wanted to be rid of them. These were not red rashly patches or spider veins, but rather they were very small, slightly raised, red dots formed by dilated blood vessels near the surface of my skin.

They were benign, hereditary telangiectasias, and I had a hundred or more on my torso, the university doctor said with authority. He said that they were not infectious and not contagious. He regretfully informed me that my student insurance would not pay for "cosmetic" removal of benign telangiectasias. Also, he understood that it would be too expensive for me to pay out-of-pocket to remove them all, as the university clinic billed per size of the spot removed, $50.00 to $100.00 each. However, he said that if I could bear to have him zap them by hand cautery, zap, zap, zap, without anesthetic and without pausing to recover between each zap, he would remove all of them from my torso, right then, right there. I readily agreed because my skin is so fair that while the red spots were small, they were still quite obvious, and I was getting more and more of them. He made me swear to secrecy and I have kept that promise until now, almost fifty years later. The doctor turned on his cautery wand, and began zapping. The first time he zapped me I yelped and he admonished me that he could not remove my spots if I could not manage the pain. I managed it. He rolled me over and over, folding back my paper gown here and there to zap each and every telangiectasias on my torso. They never reappeared there. I have only a few of the teeny, tiniest spots there now, almost microscopic.

Later in that year at university, I encountered that kind, young doctor at a shopping mall where I kept my head down because I was embarrassed to see my doctor in a more social setting, but he called out to me so I stopped to talk to him. This tall, handsome man was so pleasant that I considered whether he might be the kind of man whom I would marry someday. When he told me that he really enjoyed his medical practice at the university clinic, I asked him why. He said with a laugh that he enjoyed the "healthy, young bodies", which confused me, perhaps because I was too young and inexperienced to understand what he was saying. Soon, although I knew he was still interesting in talking, I walked away.

Caption: A Few Minuscule Telangiectasias On Annmarie Throckmorton

selfie 2019

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