I began my day extremely anxious. I had a doctor’s appointment, nothing alarming, just your standard “annual physical.” Except that my “annual” physical has not been “annual” in quite a few years. It’s not that I neglected my health but I concentrated on the specific issues handled by specialists – dentist, eye doctor (optometrist?), gynecologist and dermatologist. I must confess that with the exception of the dentist, I wasn’t seeing the other doctors like clock-work either, although definitely regularly enough not to be considered negligent. Anyway, as I woke up in sweats wondering what blood disease I had, if I had thyroid issues, high (or low) blood pressure, etc., I realized it was probably my conscience telling me to start acting like a grown-up and get my butt to the doctor. It’s just that doctors make me anxious. Despite the fact that they exist to keep me healthy, I am afraid of them. However, as much as I dread going to the doctor, I adore a good nights sleep and so after a few weeks of interrupted slumber, I summoned the balls and made an appointment with an Internist/General Practice physician. My insurance had recently changed and so I chose a doctor randomly based on her proximity to my apartment and my office. My appointment was this morning and so I began my day anxious. During my workout at the gym, I worked out hard, noting to myself that if I was dying, I probably wouldn’t be able to work out as often and with as much intensity as I do. And when all of my favorite songs randomly came up on my ipod, I decided it was a sign that everything would be just fine. But I was still nervous. (I’m sure I sound like a huge baby/drama queen. And yes, I am both of those things sometimes…)
When I got to the doctor’s office and began filling out my insurance information, my stomach was tied up in knots and it remained that way after the nurse brought me into the room and told me to wait for the doctor. The doctor came in and introduced herself to me before I was told to undress which I thought was a nice touch. It might have been awkward meeting her for the first time wearing nothing but a thong and a paper robe. I was less nervous after she left me to change. And even less nervous after she took my blood pressure and said it was perfect, was pleased with my weight, felt my neck and said my thyroid was fine, gave me a breast exam and concluded that I seemed pretty darn healthy to her and that she would send someone in to take my blood and give me an EKG. By the time my blood was taken, I wasn’t even nervous anymore and was just extremely happy that I had started what I decided would definitely be an annual tradition. For real this time. My life is way too important to me and my health plays a huge (the hugest) part of my life and should not be neglected. Although I am still awaiting the results of my blood work, I am currently content with the knowledge that I did what I had to do. While I was feeling brave, I even made an appointment for my first mammogram. I’m sure I will not sleep the night before but knowing that the doctor didn’t find any lumps during her exam and that I am young and healthy will hopefully keep me from nightmares of having breast cancer.
I gotta say, getting older comes with a lot of crap I would prefer to avoid, including the aforementioned mammogram but the alternative to getting older is not something I am ready to face. I have too much love to give and receive and too many more books to write to take my health lightly.