Feb. 24th, 2011

daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I had my "annual" physical today. "Annual" because it's been three years since I've had one...Bad, I know. I don't even have the excuse of not liking my doctor; every time I've seen him he has always been very respectful and kind. But I lack the habit, I guess, and it's hard to embrace a new habit that only requires action once a year.

So, anyway. I showed up this morning to my doctor's office and very quickly got taken back to an examining room. I was surprised but pleased: since I was having bloodwork done I hadn't eaten breakfast, and the sooner I got this over with the sooner I could get something to eat. (As a confirmed breakfast eater, this kind of thing puts me out of sorts for the whole day.) To my surprise the nurse took my blood pressure, my weight, and my temperature, but did not instruct me take off my clothes and put on the gown. Thus, when my doctor came in to the room to start my exam I was still clothed and we sat and talked about my current health and any concerns I had at the moment. I bring this up because I think it is a pretty slick trick on my doctor's part: most people feel more comfortable when they are in their own clothes, so this would make it easier for them to talk to him. It's a small thing, but I think being attentive to small things is a sign of quality.

I had previously come up with a short list of things I wanted to talk with him about, the chief of which was my exercise program. All the guides to exercise warn you to see your doctor before starting vigorous exercise, so I had carefully kept my heartbeat in the moderate range. I wanted to know if I could push to a little more challenging level, and what he thought was a good range. He seemed to think I was doing a good job where I was, and recommended a level only slightly above where I am now. I am somewhat relieved, to be truthful: while I do want an effective exercise program I generally do not come home from work raring to train for Iron Women competitions.

My other burning issue was my sinuses: my pain was still gone but some of my breathing issues were coming back and that made me unhappy. After a series of questions he determined that I probably was not suffering from asthema and that I therefore was probably suffering from allergies. He gave me some samples of a nasal steroid spray and a prescription for more if I found them effective. After one day of usage I think I am in love. I don't have gunk in the back of my throat! My cough is gone! I can breath through my nose whenever I want!

Then he left the room and I changed into the gown and he came back and did the prodding part of the exam. This included my pap smear and gyn exam because my doctor is also an ob/gyn which is convenient since I don't have to schedule a separate gyn exam. I was in the stirrups and things were just getting started when I gasped out, "this part of the exam sucks! Is it ok if I make funny noises?" "Sure, no problem," my doctor said. Did I mention that I really like my doctor? It is amazing how being able to yelp, grunt, and audibly grind your teeth helps smooth things over.

After that I got dressed and went to get the blood drawn for testing. It came out a beautiful deep ruby red, so whatever else we find iron anemia will probably not be part of it. I am panting with eagerness to know what my cholesterol numbers are, since they were a trifle high last time and I have been diligently trying to eat well since the new year. If oatmeal and an apple for breakfast and beans once a day isn't fixing it I am in trouble. I hate taking pills every day!

So then it was over. The building where my doctor's practice in also has a spa, a gym, and a small snack bar so while I waited for my ride I had a belated breakfast: cheese string, blueberry bran muffin, and a large cup of tea. It was wonderful, though professionally speaking I wasn't all that impressed with the texture of the muffin. Moist and tender /= gummy. But it was breakfast, so I was happy.

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