Getting physical

For the first time in 3 1/2 years, I scheduled a full physical.  Not because I was feeling poorly or had some nagging ailment.  Not because my family was bothering me.  It was because my oldest friend was nagging me.  We have both lost parents who might not have left so early if they had proper (and early) doctor diagnoses.  As the conversation was dragging, I finally relented.

Of course, this also required me to find a doctor.  My previous company had a clinic on site, staffed with a doctor, so there was never a need for a “family” physician.  I asked my Dad if he could check with his doctor to see if they were taking new patients.  My Dad being my Dad, he just set up an appointment for me.  And then checked if I was available.

The day arrived and I went in early to fill out the paperwork.  When you pay for services instead of using insurance, it always seems to confuse the staff, but they got a handle on it and I was ushered into a room.

Once the nurse discovered who I was related to, the conversation became much more animated.  My Dad and Stepmom are unique and memorable personalities and they leave an indelible impression.  During the time I was there, both the doctor and nurse said they saw many similarities in me.  I take that as a compliment.

The basics are redundant, if you’ve had a physical.  As the link above suggests, I got the full treatment, including bending over the table.  I had one of those fateful exams once before, but I did not recall it being as…disturbing.  Since the doctor was well aware of the Fletch scene, I saw no reason to sing “Moon River”, but I sure felt like he had taken an extended ride.

Had I been briefed on the extent of the tests he wanted to take, I could have been better prepared.  As it was, I had to go the next day for blood tests, since I had not fasted.  I have been so used to donating blood, where the eating restraints are not as severe, it did not occurred to me I would need to “clean up” my blood before going to the doctor.

Turns out, he also wanted the urine test, too, so it was unfortunate I stopped in the restroom before I went to have the blood taken.  Fortunately, these places are well prepared for that situation, with a big water cooler and man-sized cups.  I was able to dutifully fulfill all my responsibilities.

The Labor Day holiday appears to have slowed the return of the blood results, but all other examinations and tests by the doctor show I am what I thought:  a pretty healthy dude (not counting mental health).

I am eager to find out what my blood cholesterol level is these days.  When I left work, it was hovering close to 200 (not so good).  I have been better on eating and exercising and there is certainly less stress in my life (except for finishing the book!), but there is also always ice cream in the house, so it may be a toss-up.

The odd thing was that for the next few days after the tests, I was off-kilter.  Apparently I was more disturbed by the examinations that I imagined.  You might say I passed the tests but failed the physical.