My not-quite-annual check-up (once every 7 years, need it or not)

Sometime around my birthday (January 28, mark your calendar), I telephoned my doctor’s office to make an appointment.  The appointment scheduler informed me that I would be considered a new patient since I hadn’t visited the doctor in awhile.  That is the penalty one gets for being healthy.  (Remember, I have tried in vain to catch the pandemic sweeping the world, however, the Swine Flu eludes me.)

So, the next available appointment for a “new” patient was July 13.  Today.

I dread visiting the doctor because a visit involves two unpleasant realities:

1) Standing on a scale in front of a stranger;

2)  Appearing naked in front of a stranger.

However, I am a grown-up, a grown-up in dire need of some preventative care.  If I were a car, my oil would have run dry and my tires would be totally deflated.  Also?  I’d have no gasoline and my filters would be filthy.

I arrived on time for my doctor’s appointment.

The nurse escorted me to the scale.  Fun times were had by all except me.

Then she said, “And why are you here?”

I couldn’t even begin to imagine.  I said, “Um, I can’t remember.  I made the appointment a long time ago . . . ”

She led me to the exam room and clicked onto the computer in search of information.  Why was I there?  “You are here to establish new patient care.”   I explained that it had been, well, seven years since my annual routine test that all women are required (by law?  by decree?) to get.  She shook her head and said maybe I’d have to make another appointment since the doctor didn’t have time to do a physical exam.

I was pretty sure I just wanted a routine check-up.  I thought that’s what I asked for.  Well.

The nurse kicked my tires, checked my oil levels, took my blood pressure.

The doctor finally breezed in.  She looked at me and said, “You’re listed as a new patient but I know you!”

So I explained that I’m never sick and that I think I last visited the office in 2006–she checked and it was really October 2005, but let’s not quibble.  She was quite alarmed that I hadn’t had my annual test since . . . 2002.  And she asked about that mammogram she told me to get in 2005.  Yeah, well, I never got around to that, either.

That’s how I ended up naked on the exam table getting a physical exam even though I was only scheduled for a chit-chat.   And while she was doing unspeakable things, we began to speak about our church (Mars Hill) and pastor (Mark Driscoll).  There is something a little disconcerting about having a normal conversation while someone is doing that particular thing, but I guess it’s better to pretend that we are both clothed and having tea than for us to focus on reality which is so bizarre, if you ask me.  Please, do not ask me.

I got a tetanus shot.  She declared that everything seemed fine.  No immediate suspicion that I will keel over dead anytime soon of a dread disease.  She sent me down the hall for blood draws.  Two vials, no fainting.

Now, I just need to call to make that mammogram appointment.  I need to do it this week before I let that paper drift to the bottom of the pile of papers that I ignore.

I wish I could just detach them and send them to the lab on their own.  I really, really do not want to escort them to the mammogram place, but since I am the one with a driver’s license, I guess I have to drive them.  (And by “them”, of course, I mean The Girls.  Let us not speak of them again.  They are shy.)

Also?  I am going to pretend that  I did not hear the word “colonoscopy” today.  I am so not interested in getting old enough to require that particular procedure.

Tomorrow:  Taking the 11-year old and 6-year old to the dentist.  I’m telling you–the fun just does not STOP around here.  Don’t be jealous.

8 thoughts on “My not-quite-annual check-up (once every 7 years, need it or not)

  1. If it’s any comsolation, I’ve had mammograms and a colonoscopy…plus an endoscopy…and none of them are that bad. On the first one The Girls get squished. On the other two you get sent out so far into LaLa Land they could chop off your head and you could care less. In other words…nothing to dread even tho they’re nothing to really look forward to, either. Also, after a local cable access show we saw several years ago, WHY it inspired Dear Hubby to call them this I dunno, but my ‘girls’ are referred to around here as “Tiki Hump Humps’. Ahem. And after all the health issues and hospital visits I had last year I don’t think I have a modest bone left in my body.


  2. When you find out where the mamogram place is… let me know. I’ve been looking for it going on 5 years myself… We’re so good at taking care of everyone else…


  3. Tell the “girls” not to worry, it’s not a big deal. My girlies’ doctor place is pleasant, modern and the lighting was really low. These picture taking ladies really know what they are doing and you already know the rest of this lecture. I was nervous for my first ever appointment and, after it was all done, walked out on cloud nine after it hit me that it was just a little smoochy, not even uncomfortable, like I’ve heard it could be. Make the appointment today and get it over with already!!!


  4. I can’t stand doctors!! They’ve been telling me to get a mammogram for 5 years now & every year when I go for my yearly they ask me if I’ve gotten it yet… I just can’t bring myself to do it!! & they even told me of a place that does them for free!! I still haven’t gone! 😦
    Keep us posted if you do go!


  5. We women aren’t the only chickens when it comes to medical appointments. Last week my oldest brother was taken by ambulance to 2 different hospitals. On the first trip, he told the driver this was his “first and last time inside of an ambulance”. When they came back a few hours later to transfer him to a larger hospital 90 miles away, he again had his “first and last time….”. Nor was he a good patient after having surgery – pulling plugs and throwing them; reaching behind to cover his backside even though the nurse told him to use 2 hands on the walker – not letting the nurse see his private parts, even after she told him she’d been a nurse for years and had seen everything – he said to his son, brother, and me: “I told her she hadn’t seen mine, and wasn’t going to!” See, it’s not just women who don’t like the whole idea of having some of these procedures done – modesty just isn’t part of the deal!


  6. I can relate! I HATE going to the doctor’s and have managed to avoid it because I haven’t been sick, either. And with insufficient insurance and limited funds (to put it mildly), it’s quite easy to keep it out of what little of my mind is left.


  7. My mammogram was good too, it was actually relaxing, since the kids were with someone else. A colonoscopy…well, I hate that thought, but I am only 44! I have six years yet.


  8. With the newer digital mammogram machines the procedure is more bothersome than painful.

    It really isn’t something to let slide. Breast cancer is common and it is curable if caught early like only a mammogram can do.

    I’m sure you know this.

    Still, during a busy day/week/year it’s easy to think “If I have breast cancer, I don’t want to know it/can’t deal with it now.”


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