The Damn Doctor Cleared Me to Exercise, or Wasting the Doctor’s Time

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I had a full checkup today. Pending lab results from the pint of blood they took and the photos from boob-smooshing machine, I’m in great shape for the mileage on the odometer. I’m overweight, my sight and hearing are starting to fade, and walking up an incline gets me to my peak heart rate faster than ever. Pretty much what you would expect.

Between January 2008 and May 2012, I had three abdominal surgeries. The second two were to transition me from pregnancy to nursing mother. The first one, well… it was partly to make the second two possible. I haven’t had a general checkup since 2007. Don’t ask me about the dentist.

This has been on my calendar for a while. I had never had a stress test before, and I wanted to do really well on it. I prepared for weeks in advance by eating constantly and sitting at my desk for hours at a time. When I walk with the children down to the Farmer’s Market, I make sure they walk most of the time, which for me is essentially standing still. I was highly confident that the doctor would declare me painfully thin and suggest I nap more.

The whole event was courtesy of my job, which helps you arrange these preventative checkups because they don’t want you out sick. It was a very fancy doctor place. Between exams, we got to hang around in blue scrubs and pink terrycloth robes and little socks with treads on them, sit in comfy chairs, and watch TV in a sunlit room. There was a buffet of food for when they let you stop fasting. 

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They even gave me a gift bag when I was leaving. Not sure it was necessary, but it’s always nice to get a little present. This gift bag contains one piece of tissue paper, a pack of Kleenex, a little emery board, a little hand sanitizer, a little hand lotion, two throat lozenges, two band-aids, and the smallest chapstick I have ever seen — a little bullet-shaped thing, about the same size as the throat lozenges. It’s adorable, but I think it’s a choking hazard for my kids.

So here’s what they did to me:
•    Took boob-smooshing photos
•    Weighed me
•    Measured me
•    Took my blood pressure
•    Took 5 vials of blood
•    Wired me up for an EKG
•    Checked my eyesight
•    Puffed air at my eyes (My reaction: DAFUQ?! All four times.)
•    Checked my hearing
•    Listened to me breathe
•    Felt my neck
•    Wired me up again
•    Made me do jumping jacks
•    Walked me on a treadmill
•    Took my blood pressure a bunch more times

My eyesight’s going. Nobody cares. I’m losing some of the outer range of my hearing. Group shrug. I’m a bit overweight. That alone is not a problem. I have been officially approved to engage in whatever kind of exercise suits my fancy. I hope that wasn't the point of this whole thing, because I could have saved us all some time.

After all that, I still owe the lady doctor a visit. And the dentist.