Wednesday, June 04, 2008


A couple of months ago, I picked up the telephone and made the hardest call I ever have to make: I made an appointment at the doctor’s office for a complete physical.

I hate going to the doctor. I put off going to the doctor. I am never sick enough or have enough unexplained symptoms to go to the doctor. When I made the appointment in April, I nonchalantly asked the scheduler, knowing she had the information right in front of her on the computer—“Say, um, just how long has it been since I’ve had a physical?”

“2003,” she said coldly, accusingly, as if I had personally offended her. I can’t really see what difference it made to her. She should be happy that I’ve been so well for the past five years.

I tried to make a list of things that have concerned me since 2003 so when the doctor asks how I am, I can appear knowledgeable about my health. After hours of thought, this is what I came up with:

  • Wrinkly neck (but unlike Pricilla Presley, at least my neck matches my face)
  • Chest pain—well, one tiny spot that hurts sometimes when I’m grading a really, really bad paper
  • Writer’s bump (that funny raised/flat spot on my middle finger when I’ve graded papers for hours)
  • Pinched nerve in my neck (started in 1999 and recurs when I lift heavy objects, like elephants)
  • Clicky right knee when carrying laundry downstairs (give up laundry?)
  • Occasional allergies and sinus problems
  • Weight gain (especially when I consume more than 3,000 calories of chocolate in one day)
  • Right ear plugs up when the outside atmospheric pressure drops, but at least I know when it's going to rain.

I think that about does it. After each entry on the bulleted list, I could easily write “ . . . because I’m no spring chicken,” and it would explain it all. But I guess unless I have a doctor formally declare it, write it in my permanent medical chart, attach a diagnosis code to it, and submit it to my insurance company, it’s not official.

I hate going to the doctor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Botox is always the answer.