Today was the day.
The one day out of the year that I have to pay to bare all.
Yep, I’m talking about my yearly physical.
Oh, and don’t forget about the mammogram. Always a highlight for women.
I had the whole day planned. I figured my appointment would last a 1/2 hour, and I would have time to grab some lunch before my mammogram at 12:30.
Bwahahahahaha!! Yeah, right. I should know better than to make my appointment anything besides first thing in the morning. But this isn’t my first rodeo, so I took my Kindle along for the routine 10 – 15 minutes that I figured I would have to wait.
I arrive 5 minutes early (I hate to be late… ask my kids) which was good since they wanted to update my information. The customary 15 minutes goes by and people are coming and going and I’m expecting my name to be called at any minute. Make that another 15 minutes. By this time I’m freezing my ass off because they have the A/C set to blizzard.
Finally I hear my name and am escorted through the doors and asked to step on the scale from hell. It had to be lying because it read that I had dropped down to double digits. Here I thought I was doing so good with all the meals and fruit I was eating. I wanted to punch it.
Next came my height and onto the exam room for inquisition number 1. Any new meds? Feeling OK? BP is a little high, but she comments that it’s probably just nerves, which happens to everyone when they go to see the doctor. I’m thinking it had something to do with the 1/2 hour wait in freezing conditions. We waste about 10 minutes on BS and she leaves while I slip into one of the sexy “gowns” we all look forward to wearing.
15 minutes goes by, then another. The nurse peaks her head in (probably to see if I’m alive) and asks if I’ve had a Tetanus shot in the last 10 years, because they don’t have a record of it. I agree to get a booster, just to be on the safe side, and ask if the doctor is going to make it because I have another appointment in 45 minutes. She says it won’t be long.
Back to my Kindle.
Finally, after waiting an HOUR in this room (and reading 63 pages of my book), the doctor comes in and ever-so-quietly apologizes for making me wait and says we have to hurry so I can make my next appointment. Ya think?
Next comes inquisition number 2 and a review of my last appointment with her 18 months ago. Do I still smoke? Do I have any plans for quitting? What do I do for exercise? Do I have any concerns that I want to talk about? Hmm… you’ve dropped 6 pounds since the last visit and your BP is a little high.
OK, hop on the table and let’s get started. As she listens to my heart, she makes a comment that I have and extra “beat” and wants to do and EKG. OK, stop the bus, because this was just supposed to be a normal, routine physical, you can’t just throw in extra medical tests. Besides, you already threw me off schedule with the waiting game. Naturally, I say “go for it” and we get to the fun parts of breast exam and PAP (sorry for the TMI for those of the male gender). I’m laying on the table thinking “It’s about time they put something on the ceiling to get my mind off of what is going on, but did it have to be a poster about an event involving Loons that is from 2008?” when I’m informed it’s all over and I can get dressed but I need to come back after my next appointment.
With 5 minutes to spare, I run out to my car first to have a quick smoke and head back in for the booby vice grip. At least radiology has their shit together, because I didn’t even get one page read before I was called back. After having this done for over 20 years, I know what to expect. But I still have to believe that a man invented this machine, because there is no way that a woman would say “Let’s build a device that takes the female breast and smooshes it between 2 plates until it is resembles the thickness of a pancake and then tell her to hold still and not breathe.” The only upside to this was they have done away with the practice of having us put tiny little “pasties” on our nipples so that the x-ray could be read better (again, sorry for the TMI).
Out one door and into another for the blood draw, EKG and booster. I’m thinking it would have made more sense to do the EKG first, because I hate needles and I’m sure that will be reflected on the reading, but what do I know? 2 vials of blood later, I’m up on the table again being hooked up to cables that reminds me of a scene in Frankenstein and waiting for the technician to scream “IT’S ALIVE!!!”. 10 seconds later it’s all over. The nurse comes back in and tells me that I do indeed have an extra “beat” but it could be due to excessive caffeine (not likely) or my thyroid giving me more trouble than it already does. She gives me the booster shot and decorates my arm with a cute purple band-aid with skateboarding alligators on it (which, by the way, was damn cute).
I was done. Outta there. Free.
So I immediately went and bought myself a pair of new sandals for the summer. After all that stress, I figured I deserved a little treat.