So I sucked it up and attended my biennial physical exam yesterday. That’s what it means by “physical”, I guess. You actually have to go there. So much of what I do is cyber- and virtual these days, and this event actually started in cyberspace - I made the appointment and received confirmation on my HMO’s website, and filled out an online questionnaire that used to be administered haphazardly by a harried nurse in the seconds before the doctor arrived in the exam room.
But for all of their sophistication and mouse-side manner, the WebMDs of the world are not yet able to reach out and fondle your nuts to see if anything untoward is going on down there, so I ultimately had to hie me thither and unpersuasively envelop my naked self in the standard-issue peek-a-boo muumuu.
Though I suffered the usual indignities stoically, the part that I dread most is when they want to draw blood, this time for a cholesterol test. It’s not the pain I dread, it’s some murky psychological weirdness I have about veins, arteries and blood. I hyperventilate a little, and get woozy sometimes just anticipating. I’ve gotten so I simply tell the tech that I’ve got a phobia. This time the woman said, “OK, let me tell you about my animals,” and I jumped in gratefully, asking probing questions about their personalities and relationships with each other, and you’d have thought I was on a first date, I was so animated.
Of course, it was over in seconds - I give good vein - and my spirit soared. They bandage the puncture and say to keep it on for 15 minutes, but I’ve been known to wear one all day and through my evening shower, only daring near the end to remove it because it’s gotten soggy, fully expecting the wound to have developed into some hideous spurting hematoma.
Though it’s been certified that the Fountain of Youth has once again eluded me, I’m told the chances are reasonable that I’ll be slumping up there again in two years. I’ll try to have the bandage off by then.