Gimme The News
I bring nothing new to the “what I hate about going to the doctor” discussion. People have had the same gripes about doctors for longer than I’ve been alive. Those of you familiar with me will have already figured out that this won’t stop me talking about my recent visit to the doctor.
It had been a while since I’d gotten a physical, and what with me getting older and all, it seemed like maybe it would be a good idea. After all, if you’ve got some sort of disease where your thumbs are going to fall off, it’s probably best to find out about that early on in the process so you can adjust to what life might be like without thumbs: using your nose to hit the spacebar, buying thumbless mittens, retiring from the thumb wrestling circuit, that kind of thing.
I went to the doctor after work on Friday and wasn’t even in the waiting room long enough to get my forms filled out. (This, sadly, prevents me from complaining about the age of the magazines in the waiting room, but gets me right to the complaining about the actual checkup.) The secret to not waiting, I think, is to have the last appointment on a Friday afternoon. Members of the medical profession like their weekends as much as anyone else does, so you’re on the fast track.
First comes the weighing (“Miss, my shoes weigh 34 pounds. Really. There’s no way I way that much.”) and the height measuring. If you’ve shrunk since your last visit, they know something’s up.
Then it’s off to the little room. I’ve still got my unfinished forms with me, but I can’t do anything with them because the nurse has to take my pulse and blood pressure. Getting my blood pressure taken is my least favorite thing at the doctor’s office. That pressurized armband causes a weird kind of pain and I’m always afraid that my stressing about it is going to give them a false reading which is going to make them need to do it several more times. Sure, there’s plenty to not like, but that one is the thing I dread the most.
When she was done with her tests, she told me to prepare for the doctor to be by in a few minutes. I do not want to get indelicate here, so I’ll just say that it’s a little surreal to fill out the rest of your forms while in the state you are normally in while awaiting the doctor. It’s also cold.
There was a sign in the room that said my cell phone needed to be off, but I needed to get some phone numbers off it while filling out the forms. This caused my first words to the doctor I’d never seen before to be, “I’m sorry I had my cell phone on.” Not “Nice to meet you” or “Hello,” but “I’m sorry I had my cell phone on.” I’m worried about failing authority figures, you see. I assume that he’s going to punish me in some way if I don’t ‘fess up, and I’ll end up with typhoid or something. Now is not a good time for me to have typhoid.
The rest of the checkup went fine – my blood pressure was good, my heart sounded okay, my abdomen was able to withstand poking and prodding, my knees reacted properly to the little hammer, and my doctor only swore once. I don’t know why it’s weird to hear a doctor swear when I’ve heard so many other different career representatives swear, but it just is.
So I’m thinking “That wasn’t so bad” when he hands me a piece of paper and says, “We’ll need you to come back so we can draw some blood and run some tests.” Come back?!? Man, I was hoping it’d be a one-stop shop and I could get all this done in a day! Nope, I gotta not eat for 12 hours before they draw blood, they say. I’m assuming this is because they want you to be as weak as possible when they take your blood because they have some sort of office pool going on how many people they can make faint in a week.
I’m thankful for doctors because we need them and I could never be one. I wouldn’t want to be around sick people all day and I have zero interest in seeing anyone’s insides. I can’t even watch medical-based TV dramas without getting squeamish. I appreciate people who can do what they do.
Now if only I could find some lighter shoes…