Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #205

October 17, 2013: I’m Strong to the Finish Because I Eat My Spinach

Today I had my annual physical. It had been two years since my last one. Like many people, I dread such things. I hate being poked and prodded; it makes me feel like a side of beef. Sad to say, but this sort of treatment is now the norm in the health care profession. I go to Integrated Health care, where the emphasis is on preventative medicine. Still, it’s no different here than elsewhere.

The staff at this place (mainly women) are proficient, and cheerful. And the office environs are welcoming. (The exception may be the faux black leather couch, which provides no back support

which means that smaller people have to sit slumped.)

I was, after filling out the requisite form, escorted into the nurse practitioner’s office. It, like the reception area, downplayed the more clinical aspects of health care. For instance, a bamboo screen separated the examination table and her desk. I sat down in rolling chair next to her desk (probably not a good thing for someone with balance issues), and we exchanged pleasantries. She then opened her computer and began asking me health related questions. Over the next fifteen minutes or so, she typed and I provided information on my past and present health history.

She then left the room and I put on a cotton gown. Three minutes later, she returned. I then had my annual exam. She was all business. I had a pap smear done. I’d worn bright red argyle socks for the occasion, but even this didn’t get her attention. I suspect that by now she thought I was one of those off the grid nerds or something. What I wanted to say was that I was attempting to be a trend setter. I harbor the hope that because of my efforts, that in a few years’ time, argyle will come back in fashion.

The exam done, she left the room. And I put my clothes back on. She returned, and we resumed talking. We wrapped things up, and I returned to the reception area, where I arranged to have blood work done. I also (as recommended) purchased Iodine and Vitamin D.

On the drive home, I got to thinking. Our conversation about my health care was brief in part because there are now so many of us, and also because time is of the essence. Just the facts ma’am now seems to prevail.

Had the nurse practitioner stopped typing and really listened to me, I would have opened up, and spoke more about what I call significant insignificant details. I am not sure what I might have said – but undoubtedly, they’d arise as we conversed. Talk – who knows? If we’d chatted a bit, she may have made some important life-saving connections. I am (right now) in decent shape. However, I fear the day in which something appears to be majorly wrong because I will then, in conversation and demeanor, have to be both assertive and proactive.

Next: 206: 10/18/13: The More Abstract Nature of Law and Order