Posts Tagged ‘exams’


Lessons Learned from a Routine Examination…


Warning: You may want to get two of your favorite beverages first.

Some might think this is an inappropriate topic for a post. I tend to agree. However, you know me…inappropriate is my middle name.

Each year around this time MaryAnn goes through “the annual check-up” nightmare. Oh. Joy. Not. The first one, the dental check-up, is usually pretty easy, except for the things I outlined in my previous post! The next one is my annual heart check-up, thanks to having two heart attacks for a very weird reason at too young an age. Last, but certainly not least, is the dreaded “ladies” exam scheduled for next month. But, here is the “fun” that awaits me each year for the annual heart exam.

1. They weigh me at this exam and if my weight is too high, I get a “lecture”. This would be why I stopped scheduling this exam right after Christmas.

2. Based on the possibility of getting the lecture, I think I could qualify for an OCD diagnosis–I can’t seem to quit weighing myself 4 times a day the week prior to this exam.

3. There is an inverse correlation between “days to go before exam” and the number of Lean Cuisines in my freezer.

4. Based on the fact that I’ve actually considered taking more fiber pills before this exam to avoid the dreaded lecture, I think I also now qualify for an eating disorder. Note to self: Buy stock in whatever company makes Fibercon.

5. The possibility of MaryAnn actually running on her treadmill goes up dramatically the week prior to the exam.

6. You can walk/run for 99 minutes on your treadmill before you have to reset it for the rest of your workout. The most effective workout program on the treadmill? Stealth Killer Mode.

7. I now evaluate my clothes on how heavy they might be on that torture device known as a scale.

8. I am not allowed to eat or drink anything prior to my exam. That’s basically like saying, “Don’t look down!” to a person rappelling off a cliff.

9. The chances of me getting a migraine from not eating go up dramatically the day of the exam because the first available exam is at 4 pm in the afternoon. Does swallowing pain pills qualify as eating or drinking?

10. The lab techs at my exam are intent on bleeding me dry. I think they have been watching too many Twilight movies. The lab tech does look a lot like Bella.

11. The lab techs always ask me why I turn my head away from them as they bleed me dry. How long have they been doing this?

12. The lab techs always ask me a question that requires me to look at them just when they jab me with that big ol’ needle. Oh, and I forgot my smelling salts.

13. My blood is still red. Too red.

14. I’ve been going to this exam for 14 years and my medical file (I’ve never changed clinics.) is now entering “Volume 3” status. Yet, on the one occasion I don’t bring my plethora (You’re welcome, DD.) of medicine bottles with me (because I didn’t have time to rent a U-Haul), they will ask me for all the drugs I’m on, including milligrams per pill. Here’s a thought: how about consulting Volume 3 for all of those milligrams? You prescribed them, silly clinic. Oh. And another thought: When you call me to remind me of the appointment and not to eat or drink, how about suggesting I bring all my bottles with me??? Oh. Wait. That makes sense and would be too convenient for me.

15. They require a urine sample. See # 8. I’ve resorted to jumping up and down in the restroom. I sure hope there are no hidden cameras in that lab restroom. That door where you put the specimen makes me very nervous…easy place to put a hidden camera, if you ask me.

16. I now qualify for a paranoia diagnosis in the DSM.

17. The procedure to “properly” collect a urine specimen is longer than the instructions on how to launch a NASA rocket into space. This might explain why insurance companies are reluctant to pay for “experimental medical treatments.” Jus’ sayin’.

18. # 17 does not help with # 16.

19. The nurse insists on placing actual metal contact points all over the trunk of my body and then hooking me up to an electrical device. And they stick on like post-its. Note to self: Buy more stock in 3M. When do they bring in the bucket of water to pour on my body? Oh. Wait. I might actually drink some of the water and that, of course, would be disastrous.

20. # 19 does not help with # 16.

21. Now, I have to run on a treadmill. I don’t “do” running. And I’m wearing street shoes. How about adding “Wear sneakers” to the ever-growing list on # 14? And since I have maxed out my treadmill on minutes per workout for the last month in preparation for this exam, they’re all ticked that they can’t get my heart rate above the “I’m bleeding out of my ears” level. They continue to increase the speed until I fall off the treadmill and bang into the adjacent wall. 

22. At least I’m in the right place for stitches.

23. As I limp out of the clinic, I pay my exorbitant co-pay that Obamacare was supposed to be paying.  The bleeding continues.

24. As I get in my car, I think, “And I don’t have my test results back yet.” See # 16.

25. The result of the exam? I now have a new prescription…for anti-anxiety meds. The bleeding continues.

26. My car drives straight to McDonald’s and orders 3 Big Macs. Not me…the car. I’m still in shock.

Point to Ponder Challenge: What annual exams or tests have you been putting off because of fear, laziness, or busyness? Your health is at risk, if there are some on the list you haven’t done or you don’t know what exams or tests you should be having. If you know you’re procrastinating, get busy and get at least one of them scheduled today…the “lecture” shouldn’t stop you! If you aren’t sure what you need, consult a trusted medical source to find out. If you can’t afford such an exam or test (or insurance won’t cover it), google local places that may be willing to do some screenings for free (or at a reduced price) at a health fair, etc. You cannot work if you are sick! You cannot take care of your family if you are sick! You can’t study (at least not well!) if you’re sick! If you are fearful of the test/exam, take a friend or family member with you and let them know about your fear. Usually, reality is not nearly as bad as our minds envision! And yes, the above was “dramatized” just to get you to giggle about all of this as you go forward and get proactive about your health.

Tomorrow’s Post: I am…not done with the book I am…supposed to be finished with. Might have something to do with being traumatized from this exam. Jus’ sayin’.