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Saturday, December 20, 2008

12/20/08 Physical; Bring a Copy

It sucks to be 49 ½, especially when you’re obese. So today I thought I’d recant my fall physical…as that sums it up. I remember my yearly physicals up until about 10 years ago I never had ANYTHING to complain about. After that my strategy soon became; pick the two most important issues and focus on them with the PCP. This year DH insisted I make a list…how sad is that, I have a LIST! DH gave me the lecture about how YOU don’t know what is related…give THEM all the info. and let THEM decide what’s important (can you tell his dad is a Dr?). This wasn’t my style…I’m not a complainer (I know, I get it all out here) but I typed up my list (I’m a little OCD) of about 6 or 7 things and off I went. I should mention here that this was the visit this fall that I also decided to ask about the LAP-BAND for the first time.

I was a little nervous about my “list” as I sat waiting on the beloved crinkly paper on the exam table…I SWEAR they make it extra noisy just to make you more nervous. In walks a kid who could have been my son. OK, NOT my usual Dr.! He explains he’s an intern and would be doing my initial exam and then the Dr. would be in. Poor kid, this was NOT to be his day. I started into my list…and he’d ask me a few questions as I went along…then I forgot where I was, so I paused to actually go get out my type written list…BIG MISTAKE…his face got more flushed than mine (and I think I need to add rosacea to my list) and I SWEAR his teenage acne was breaking out as I spoke. I tried to add a little humor saying my DH made me make a list because I was falling apart and needed a tune up…no smile, no laughter…just looked more frightened…OK then…on we went. I made it through to the end with a few raised eyebrows…I’m pretty sure my face was actually on fire at this point. So right about now I’m feeling like he must think I’m a hypochondriac or worse yet…what’s that thing people have when they want medical attention…munchausens? The LAST think I want is attention about all my health problems.

Dear gawd, now he’s trying to recap my list and I suddenly realize he hasn’t taken down a single note. He’s about on number 4 on my list when his memory fails…I toyed with the idea of just handing him my list, but then I remember he’s not a writer…do I dare suggest he write it down…I think not, he’s flustered enough. It’s like watching one of my kids practicing for speech class at school…I want to yell “Where are your index cards?” He tries reciting my list about 3 more times unsuccessfully (I'm starting to get a almost 50 year old hot flash and may go nuclear any minute) when we hear a knock at the door. It’s my regular Dr. “Are you about done it there?”…Panic forms on the poor interns face. He’s frozen in fear, he opens his mouth but nothing comes out. I shout… “Oh, sorry Dr. ____, I’m keeping him tied up with my big list of problems…ha, ha…we’re almost done!” Relief flows back into the intern’s face. Loooong pause, then he finds new strength and says “What issues are the biggest problems that you would like us to focus on today?” OK, good boy, you may make a good Dr. yet…now we’re getting somewhere…I picked my “big 2” as always and recited back the details…off he went to get the Dr.

In they came and he recited my “big 2” perfectly…I did eventually get in the rest of my “list” as if I’d just remembered them…my intern looked on gratefully. It went smoothly…I even got a phone number of a LAP-BAND surgeon from them even though I’m “…obese but not that heavy and you’re not a metabolic nightmare yet, but you can look into it if you want”. Did I not just spend the last hour giving you my “list” of reasons why I need this? All is well…I had my surgeon’s phone number and my intern may not drop out of medical school, just yet. I think schools need to issue pens with all those medical books. Just wait until he sees my list at my 50 yr. old time I'll bring a copy!

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