Posts tagged: doctor

My Annual Physical


I used to refer to this as my “Annual” checkup but since Obama Care…well things are a changing. My appointment is usually the first one: 7:30 AM.  After I have filled out the new form for change of insurance I am greeted by this very smiley nurse waving energetically, “Hi, Pat, how are you?”

“Not bad, Bonnie…”  I’ve been going to the same doctor for almost two decades.  He takes care of me and my husband, my oldest son and his family, and now my grandson and his new wife. I was a little nervous when I first started going to him.  He looked like my youngest son.   He still looks like him but we have all grown old together–my youngest son is now in his fifties.

Bonnie is my “vitals” taker: height, weight, blood pressure, etc.  I always wear my lightest outfit, take off my shoes before climbing on the scale.  OOOPS…three additional pounds which has just thrown me into the “obesity” column since the height measurement shows I’ve shrunk an inch.

doctor with stethoscopeMy doctor  sits on his stool in the corner with my ever–thickening file.  I can tell he hasn’t reviewed it since last year as he thumbs through the pages like a Rolodex file.  Over the years I’ve managed to elicit a few personal facts from him.  He’s married, has two sons, quite different from each other.  He’s trying to teach the oldest one how to drive,  shakes his head.  “Nothing like his younger brother who loves speed.  Not Jerry.  He may well be cited for going too slow–miles under the speed limit,  and I try not to flinch as he crowds the side of the road with the mail boxes.”

I’m surprised with this sharing, usually it’s a one liner:  “Sick of green beans.”  His wife is a gardener.

“Hole in one yet?”  I’ve picked up his style of speech.  He’s a golfer.

“No.  Bad back.”  And that’s it for this visit.

“Hmmm.”  It’s like a soft familiar tune.  “Any complaints?”  He doesn’t look up.

“I think I’m turning into a toad.”  He stops, looking up briefly  to see if I’m serious.

“Why’s that?”  He goes back to my file.

“Well, look at all these warts and brown spots.” I proffer a thick scaly elbow on an arm dotted with ‘liver‘ spots on skin that hangs loosely like stretched–out crepe. “And one nostril is smaller than the other from Mohs surgery.  It’s harder to breath if I have a cold.  Is it very noticeable?”

He pauses,  studies my face.  “Hardly.”  Back to the files.


“And what?”  He’s actually looking at me again.

“Well, the early warning bell for my waste management program isn’t working.” His face is blank and then I see it, a tiny smirk, and he’s back into my file.


And I continue, “my gas emission system is out of control.  Another thing, I think I have ADHD.”

He sighs, lowers the pen.  “Explain.”

“Well, let me give you an example.  I’m having company for dinner.  I’m peeling potatoes when I see the vacuum sitting in the middle of the floor.  I put down the half-peeled potato, and go over to finish vacuuming under the dining room table which is half set.  I stop vacuuming and go get the wine glasses out of the breakfront, then I remember the napkins are in the dryer and…”

The doctor holds up his hand to stop me.  “Do you get it all done?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Then you don’t have ADHD”

“Well, that’s a relief, but really it’s my memory that’s  worrying me.  What are the symptoms of Alzheimer?  I’m losing my vocabulary.  I get up every morning and read the Thesaurus hoping I’ll be able to remember a synonym or two so that I don’t have to play charades with my friends.  Doesn’t work on the phone.  Good grief, maybe I’m going to be like my sister who is five years older and can hardly carry on a conversation.”

He is resigned.  Puts down his pen and gives me his full attention. “Would you like to take some tests?”

“You think I’m that bad?”

He sighs, returns to my file,  ‘It’s up to you.”

“Well if you think I should.”  He seems to be getting a bit tense so I thought I’d change the subject.  “I’d like to talk about death.”

His head comes up with a jerk. “I’d rather not.”

Well, when you’re getting along in years like I am (79), anything can happen. “Will you be with me in the hospital when I pass over?”

He’s back inside the file and talks to it rather than me.  “Not unless I’m a patient.  We don’t do rounds anymore.  The insurance company finds it can cut down expenses if a doctor on duty handles that sort of thing.”

I can’t believe that ‘Death’ has come down to “that sort of thing?”  Wow. The nurse comes in and hands him a paper.

He  glances down then up at me.  “We don’t take your new insurance.”  And that was that.



So there you have it, Mr. President. You assured me that I could  keep my doctor, but you didn’t mention that he didn’t have to “keep” me.  No, I haven’t read Obama Care (how many pages? )  but you promised I could keep my doctor, and  you didn’t mention that my co-pay would increase.  And what is this “Wellness” Checkup?  I know its  free  but somebody is paying for this person (with credentials, of course) to get all my personal health information, do my vitals and…I thought this information was private, just between me and my doctor.   I don’t know this person from Joe Schmuck.   Who has access to this “free–checkup” information?   Pardon me if I’m getting a bit suspicious, but I’ve learned over this long life journey that there are no “free lunches.”

While I’m asking, not exactly a health-care issue, Sir, but what’s all this rumblings about expanding the military involvement in all these little countries that can’t get along with each other?  I thought we were broke.  Do they have “Weapons of Mass Destruction” too?    Now I know that you know that printing  up a bunch more money doesn’t solve the problem,  and I don’t think cutting food stamps, social security, laying off teachers, closing post offices…is going to cut the mustard.  Another thing, how can the cost of all these wars not be included in the budget?   No wonder we’re broke.  It would be like me not including my health-care expenses, my mortgage, my car–in my budget, only worse.  From what I hear war costs billions or is it trillions of dollars that we don’t have? Now that’s a lot of printing, Mr. President.  Just how many 0’s in a trillion?  Let’s see: 0,000,000,000,000   (and how many trillion are we in debt?)

While I’m writing, Mr. President, I may as well get a few other things off my chest.  Drones!  All those children who grew up playing war games on their I Pod, or was it I Pads?  Can’t keep them straight. Well now you’ve got them in the war rooms killing real people–they may not have nightmares or post-war syndrome, because it is still a game to them–its the boots on the ground that see children blown to bits, women and old people, vacant eyed looking for family in the debris–and how about Guantanamo?  You were going to close that.  Yes, I’m well aware that you have tried but that’s what we hired you to do…find a way.   Unemployment is down below 6% but the rest of the story, Mr. President, that you don’t mention is that their wages are minimum wage  and do you count them as three individuals working when they have to work at three jobs to make ends meet?  Of course, there is no inflation…my bread has gone from a pound to 3/4 and the price increased by $1.00.  Butter is up over $5 a pound, bacon over $7.  Do you go shopping with Michelle to see what $150 buys?  You have only two children, my son has five.

I don’t want to mention what a dumb campaign the democrats (oh by the way I’m a registered Republican) waged.  Dollars  couldn’t have been the issue since they raised more $’s than the other guys, or so I read.    You hardly inspired people to get out to vote–only 37% voted–lowest number of voters for decades.  Why didn’t you beat the drum as to how much you’ve accomplished in spite of the opposition’s, campaign to stop you at every turn.   You must be proud keeping us from going over the fiscal cliff,  health care coverage for my grandchildren on their parents’ policy until age 26,  ridding us of “preexisting” exclusions by the insurance companies, cutting the deficit.  Brag, Mr. President. “Executive Privilege?”  Why aren’t you mentioning (or am I not reading the right publications–) how many presidents have used it in the past and what party they belonged to?  That should be headlines, big print for us old folks to see. I can’t believe you say little to nothing when someone attacks you on the “popularity” issue.  Being President is not a popularity contest.  You hold the most powerful position in the land.  With it comes the detractors.  Although I may be critical, I honor you, respect you, applaud you. You are doing just fine, Mr. President, and I don’t want the job.  More than 40% of the populace count up to be a lot of supporters–a much higher approval rating than Congress which is Republican in case folks have forgotten. By the way, I find sleeping pills help.

Signed:   Minny…

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