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.