Friday, May 27, 2011

Doctor-doctor, tell me the news

My appointment was at 2:15. I paced nervously for an hour before showering and getting dressed. I put my wide-band bracelet watch on and realized it weighs six and a half ounces, and the turquoise earrings which complemented my outfit weighed as much as the loaded omelet I ate for breakfast. Removed the watch, the earrings, slipped into barely-there flats, changed from my heavy weight black capris to my lightweight ones. Considered cutting a couple inches off my thick wooly mane, and then said, to heck with it. The face cream didn't erase a thing except a few bucks from my wallet. The lipstick didn't enhance my appearance, and no amount of suck-in-the-gut paraphanelia ever matters when the nurse says, "Disrobe."

So off I went for my annual physical, worried about my weight and blood pressure. All that junk food.The wedding cake, funeral food, birthday brownies, graduation cupcakes, and crappy lunches that I've eaten this past month! I originally referred to them as stress reducers. Stress enhancers they were as I pressed the elevator button.

Two weeks ago I ran out of my bone loss meds. My aunts all have dowager humps from osteoporosis. I just knew the doc would say that my back bones were collpapsing upon themselves after just two weeks of not taking my Fosomax.

The child-nurse weighed and measured me. The scale didn't scream, but I moaned a bit at the three pound increase. Next, I did what the kid-nurse said. I stood erect against the wall.

"Five feet, five and half inches."
"No, I've been 5'5" my entire adult life."

"NO, you are five-feet-five-and-a-half inches!"
"Last year this little liar said I was five feet four and half inches." (A full year I worried that I was shrinking!)

Baby face never cracked a smile, "It says 5 feet 5 and a half."
I didn't care for the brat-nurse. I do like my stick-thin doctor and all of the photos of her and her biking team, those runty looking medical professionals. My doctor is nice, understanding, doesn't talk endlessly, and she doesn't harp when she gets her point across.

"Been exercising?"
"Been a bad winter, no, I cocooned all winter."

"It's not winter anymore."
"Yeah, and I feel like dancing!"

"Why don't you just try walking?"
"I've been lifting hand weights."

"How often?"
"Morning and at night."

"Good, any questions or concerns?"
"Yes, why do the veins in my right upper arm look more prominent than the left arm?"

"Chest pains? Short winded?"
"No, and never :)"

"Right handed?"

"Been lifting weights?"

"Anything else?"
"I ran out of my osteporosis medicine two weeks ago."

"That's fine. I'm going to take you off of it for a while."
"WHY, because the Fosomax worked and I've grown an inch since last year?"

She looks up from the computer and stares at me like I may be a section eight case.
"No, because you've been on it five years, so in six months, we'll do a bone scan and see if the results warrant a new prescription."

My mind was racing, trying to process what she said. I could feel my neck bending, my vertebrae collapsing, my Dowager's hump forming ... and now she has a WARRANT for my WHAT?

"Look at my records. Last year I was five-four-and-a-half, and your little nurse tells me today that I'm five-five-and-a-half."

"Like that thing can't be wrong? Let me take your blood pressure. 112 over 76. Very good."
"GOOD?! When your nurse took it upon my arrival, it was 120 over 80. My blood pressure is going down; my height is going up. Are you sure I'm okay?"

She laughed, jotted notes, antecdotal, I'm certain. Then, she said, "In six months you're due for a tetanus shot, so why don't we give it now, the one with pertussis vaccine?"
Before I could put her off, she put that needle right into my muscular (okay, still flabby upper arm).

Yeah, my doc knows how to make a point alright!


Karen Lange said...

Yes, why is it that nurses and other staff here and there all look to be in junior high? So glad you are doing well!
Have a great weekend,

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Look at the bright's over for another year! And you're healthy! :)

Unknown said...

you had me at taking off your heavy watch, earrings and wearing light-weight pants...this is awesome because I do this every 6 months when I see my oncologist for my bloodwork...I am so happy to see I am not the only one who thinks their shoes and clothes out before going to the Dr.! :)

fun post!!!

Sioux Roslawski said...

It sounds like your doctor needs to schedule you for a physcial once every six you can provide comic relief for her!

Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Karen, Lisa, Melody-Mae and Sioux,
I'm breathing easier now that I'm home and in my comfort zone. Now for that brownie I have hidden.

Kim Lehnhoff said...

Sounds like it was all good news - and if you keep growing taller, you'll be able to reach the top shelves in the cabinets!

Judie said...

Linda, be soooo glad that you are now off that medication. It has been shown to cause spontaneous breaks in the femor! My cousin suffered one and had surgery! It was no fun. There is a class-action suit going on right now.

Susan said...

Ha ha ha haha ha .That was a good column, Linda. God, that blood pressure was great! Good for you that you had only a three pound gain. Yeah, they have the child nurses here, too. And they all weigh about 98 pounds. The first one who says "tsk tsk" when she weighs me is going to get decked. ha! Susan

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

Too funny. Well, be glad you're taller. The three extra pounds mean nothing now!

Susan Fobes said...

You had me laughing all the way through this, especially the "child nurse." (I'm 5 foot 2-if I shrink there won't be anything left of me-LOL!)

BTW: 3 pounds? Never fear, summer is here!

BECKY said...

Very funny, Linda! Loved it. But, I don't buy the growing-factor, either!! Did you remove your shoes before you were measured?? I don't think the child-brat-nurse can read numbers properly!!

Southhamsdarling said...

Very funny post, and I enjoyed it and could empathize with it so much! I've been over-indulging a bit myself lately, although I don't have any problems with my weight. My height was measured at the hospital last year. I'm glad your Dr said that the machines can be wrong, because I've been 5 ft 2 all my adult life, but the nurse told me that I was 5 ft and half an inch!! I couldn't believe it. I'm sure I'm not THAT short! Hee Hee! Well, it looks as if it is all good news - well, for a while anyway!!!

Tammy said...

You summed the whole experience so well! Except...I am one of the ones who seems to be shrinking, when I would so much rather be getting taller. Even if it is thanks to the nurse's idiocy! Glad everything checked out and you're good to go for another year!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hey Linda,
You have such an ability to turn everyday moments into memorable, and comical ones. I love this post. And it reminds me I'm due for a check up.

Debora said...

So funny! And such a perfect picture of the 'Yearly Exam!' I've argued with many a nurse about my height...must be made of rubber. I'm sure you'll be playing in the NBA by your next exam. This was such a great piece, very Erma Bombeck-ish.

Janet, said...

Great post and funny. I can relate to it, I hate going to the doctor and getting weighed and having my blood pressure checked. My weight and blood pressure are both much higher there than at home. You seem to be in very good health whether you believe it or not :o) By the way, I was took off of my Actonel, which is what I was taking for osteoporosis. I was so happy, when tested my numbers were so much better and there does seem to be a problem when you take that kind of medicine for so many years. I wish you good health till your next visit!