Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's Get Physical

Wow, been almost three months since I last put up a post on here. Sorry for the slacking but I just wasn't all that motivated, as slow times at work lead to me becoming increasingly lazy, which in turn leads me to spending most afternoons and evenings sitting on my couch or in my bed, watching Tivo'd episodes of House.

This is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that I am getting very well rested (like a bear "rests" in the Winter) for the upcoming swimming pool season. The bad thing is that if you watch enough episodes of House, you start to believe that perhaps you may have one of the conditions on the show. I'm lethargic. I get a headache on occassion. My throat's a little scratchy. My arm itches. Oh crap, I have sarcoidosis!!! Have you ever watched House? Everyone on that show at some point is believed to have sarcoidosis. Is this a common ailment? I almost didn't believe it was a real illness until I just googled it to make sure I spelled it right. And crap, I have sarcoidosis!!!

In any case, you watch enough sick people and it makes you decide perhaps it's best you get somebody to look at you, just in case. So, I checked my records to see when my last physical was (i.e. thought about it) and it looks like I haven't been in for a physical since July...of 1995.

Let's see, since then, I went to college, drank more alcohol than water for four years, ate lunch and dinner regularly in a fraternity house for three years, lived with some bizarre roommates, including a crazy German girl and a drunk, visited numerous Caribbean islands and Mexico (twice!!), tredged through sludge on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, woke up next to numerous suspect women, bummed some random drugs off a complete stranger at a concert, handled "hazardous" chemicals for 10 years, had surgery to reset a broken jaw, ate Chinese food or sushi at least twice a week for 8 years, bought a dog, and walked around in Pittsburgh. If you don't see some red flags in that list, then I think you need to evaluate exactly when was the last time YOU had a physical.

So, I decided it was time to schedule my doctor's appointment, since three Presidents have been in office since I last had a physical. And last Thursday, I followed through on my appointment and made my way to the doctor's office for my physical.

First off, I don't have a "regular" doctor, so I went to the doctor that my parents go to. She's very nice and I actually went to see her about 5 years ago when I got a rash on my stomach. My stomach!! (Don't judge me, I'm not lying. I work by pools, it's a moist area. Whatever, screw you.) Unfortunately, this doctor has switched over the years from general family practice to predominantly OB/GYN. So I park my car, walk on in and sign my name on the sign in sheet. The girl behind the counter finds my file and comments that I haven't been there in 5 years (good thing she doesn't know how long it's been since my last physical) and I fill out some paper work since my address and info. have changed since then.

Meanwhile, a young girl (maybe 16) and her mom walk in, as does a second woman in her 40s. So there we are sitting in the waiting room, plenty of Vogue and Cosmo magazines to go around, waiting for our names to be called. It is during this wonderful, not awkward in the least moment, that I see the girl lean over to her mom and ask why I'm there. It's a small waiting room and I'm like five feet from her, did she really think I wouldn't hear??? Thankfully, I'm saved from this awkwardness by the nurse calling my name and I make my way to the back.

After a quick trip to the scale (weighing in at 189...less than a hibernating bear, so I'm feeling good), we're in the examination room and she's taking my blood pressure and temperature. She tells me my blood pressure is a little high, but I'm gonna blame that on the girl in the waiting room, and then the nurse gets up to leave. She hands me a robe and a blanket and tells me to take off all my clothes and put these on. This is a move I'm wondering why I never tried with the ladies back in the day. "Yeah, I'm gonna head to the bathroom real quick. Why don't you just take off all your clothes and put this on. It'll make things a lot easier when I get back. Bras can sometimes confuse me after a night of drinking."

Within minutes, my bare ass is sitting on the table with this table cloth loosely draped over me, and in walks the doctor. She goes through your typical questions and background crap, taps my knee with the hammer, listens to my chest, looks up my nose and in my ears, and with the grace of a pro, pulls out the table extender and asks me to lay down and turn on my side.

Ah crap. I knew this one was coming. After a brief description of the likelihood of prostate cancer developing in men, some dinner, a glass of wine, and some Barry White playing in the background, she checks my prostate mid-sentence, as if nothing has changed. Uh, lady, your finger is up my ass and you're asking me about swimming pools. I think I'll wait this one out before I answer this question for fear of developing a connection between the two and pooping myself everytime I visit a client's house.

Having never been a part of a gynechological exam, I can only imagine that it must be a real chatty affair with her hands all up in there. "Oh, how are the kids?" "Just great." "And your husband? Still busy at work?" "Oh, you know Steve." "Ha, ha." But I digress.

So, we get that all wrapped up and move on to the ball grabbingly great hernia and testicle examination. I swear I called a doctor, not a hooker. She asks me a few more questions, I mention that my arms go numb when I sleep with them above my head (apparently that's not normal), and she makes me an appointment for an MRI. She also schedules a standard blood test, so after no visits for 14 years, I'm already penciled in for two more in two weeks. Grand.

I get dressed and make my way out of the examination room. And as I make my exit, and the nurse jokingly says that I should come by a bit more often, I reply, "Oh yeah, I'll see you again in about 10 years."

She laughed.

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