I took today off from work because i had planned a barrage of routine medical appointments. I figured i might as well get them all over with at once.
Well, except for the oh-shit-do-i-really-have-to colonoscopy that was recommended. I’ll hold off on that until i need to lose 5 pounds fast.
My day started with my first routine physical in a couple of years. First stop: Height and weight.
The nurse asked me to hop on the scale. Because, you know, if she had just asked me my weight, i would have lied and made myself five pounds lighter. And apparently she knew this. Then she took my height. I have to say, i haven’t been this excited about growing 1/4 inch since before the Age of Disco.
I was forced to switch doctors for this exam, so this office and its staff had never met me. Had no knowledge of me whatsoever. It was good, in a way, because their opinions were gloriously unbiased. But on the other hand, because they had no knowledge of me, they didn’t know my norm.
“Ummm… That can’t be right. Let’s try the other arm.”
“Ummm… I still don’t believe it. Let’s try the first arm again.”
“I think something is wrong with the cuff. Let me try a different one.”
“I’m just gonna get someone else to try…”
I finally decided to speak up…. “You probably heard right. My heart rate runs low and my blood pressure runs high. But i feel wonky when it gets outside my usual range, and i feel fine now.”
She still got another one to take it. She shrugged when it only came up marginally lower and typed it into the record.
Next it was an ekg, which, as usual, takes five times as long to set up as it does to run.
“You sure you feel ok? Any fatigue or light-headedness? Your heart rate is rather low.”
“Yup. I’m good. I promise.”
“You must be in great shape. What do you do for exercise?”
“Ummm… A few sit-ups on my inversion table. And i just started learning to tap dance.”
This brought out a look of incredulity. Then, once she realized i was serious, she giggled. “You have blue hair, tattoos, and you are learning to tap dance. You are an interesting woman.”
Oh, if you only knew…
The doc comes in and starts putting her hands in places that haven’t been felt up in far too long. It would be awkward and invasive except for the fact that she is sweet and listening intently to my answers to her questions. This turned out to be pointless, since i realized at every point after that, that i had forgotten to give the staff half of the relevant information. Way to go, Ms Electronic Medical Record.
The rest of the day was a cavalcade of lab work, nurse questions, doctor pokes, and for the last thing, the recommended boob portraits. Because, you know, no woman’s physical is complete without squashing the shit out of her tits and taking a picture. (I wish they would send us snapshots on our phone. That way, when someone obnoxious asked for a nude pic, you could send him your mammogram as a passive-aggressive coup de grâce. It would be way more fun than just telling him to piss off.)
I survived it all.
And then i came home and tap danced.
At the end of the day, it is most likely my results will be as they usually are: Mostly healthy. And for that i am grateful. I can’t help getting older. And tho i don’t like it, it could be worse. What is worse than getting old? Getting old and decrepit. In spite of the aches and pains, the wrinkles and sags, and a blood pressure you’d expect from Ralph Kramden, i’ve got a ways to go before i get to the decrepit stage. My heart rate may be low, but my enthusiasm is high. It’s a good life. Even if i forget to tell them half of it.