I went to the doctor Friday for a general checkup. I had dreaded it all week. Actually I’ve dreaded it all year. I usually put it off until just before school starts. (I’m one of those people who is rarely sick, so I hadn’t been to the doctor since last winter’s virus.) Well, there was a mix-up at the lab and they didn’t get my paperwork done, so I had to reschedule for Saturday and dread it all over again!
On the way to town Saturday morning I tried to figure out why I put off going for a checkup. I have a great doctor that I trust. I’m generally concerned about health issues. I like to think that I eat a moderately healthy diet (everyone has a few vices, and I think you know most of mine) and although I don’t exercise like I should, I’m not a couch potato either. Yet, on the way to town I started feeling like a fifth-grader who forgot to study for her math test. It was one of those “Aha!” moments.
I dread going to the doctor because it’s the one area of my life where I feel like a failure. First thing the nurse does is take my blood pressure. Then there’s the nod of the head and the clucking noise, “A little high today.” Of course it is!! I have “white-coat hypertension”! For those of you unfamiliar with the term, there is a segment of the population that actually has a higher blood pressure rate at the very thought of going to the doctor. Mine starts rising when I leave the driveway.
Next we move to the scale. This is where I hang my head and pray that the number isn’t more than ten pounds higher than my scale at home. Luckily this time it is only five pounds higher. It is however, higher than the number recorded at my last check up. The nurse isn’t clucking, but she’s writing it down and I know there will be a frown when my doctor reads it.
After I’ve looked at a magazine from cover to cover, my doctor arrives and at least gives me the good news that my cholesterol level is better, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine. That rates me a renewed prescription. Then there is the discussion of my family’s history of osteoporosis and the need for a new bone density scan. More talk about heart disease- another gift from my ancestors. Hey, I didn’t pick these people! Why should I be punished for a poor gene pool? Then the discussion of real importance- pain management.
After a series of accidents, conditions, and surgeries that have been mentioned in previous blogs, I have a need for pain management. My current problem is sciatica. The current treatment is exercise, which I’m not the best at doing, and medication, which I’m not fond of taking. However, I did agree to a cortisone shot. Seems to help for months at a time. The only problem is that it usually gives me a very strange headache, which it did. I was awake much of the night and missed church this morning.
So I left the doctor’s office guilty about my weight, worried about my bones and heart, hurting from the shot, and dreading the headache that would surely follow. Is it any wonder that I’m not excited about going back next year?????