Friday, March 25, 2011

No Days You Can Borrow

I had a surprising appointment with my primary care physician yesterday. By surprising I don't mean he lept from behind an examining table or was dressed like someone from Jersey Shore (he tends to look more like an extra from Grey's Anatomy).

I thought I was heading for a semi-annual carotid scan (it's like a semi-professional rodeo rider without the horse but most of the horse$hit) but instead it was a "full" physical (the expression kept being used perhaps to differentiate from partial ones?). My least favorite part of these has always been right after I turn my head and cough and yesterday was no exception. I've gotten to the age that back when I was a kid I never thought people could reach because I didn't know anyone that old and now that I'm there I still don't know anyone that old. Except me.

I've collected quite an assortment of traveling companions as I spend so much time in the breakdown lane on the human highway. I have a posse of physicians, to include a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, (I realized mine looks and sounds like this guy and when I mentioned that my doctor this morning he agreed with me. I've no idea how I'll ever be able to go back to see him) a nephrologist, a rheumatologist and an orthopedic surgeon. On the reserve bench I have a gastroenterologist, a now-retired vascular surgeon and an opthamologist. I have enough wrong with me to keep them all gainfully employed.

I don't think either of us learned anything this morning we didn't already know, though speaking for me, I did find out more details about stuff I wish I didn't know how to spell. That expression about 'and the truth will set you free'? Not now, John, we've got to get on with this. I tend to use the ride back from the doctor's office to work as the decompression chamber. A couple of years ago, the news had been so upsetting one visit I had screamed all the way to the job and spent the afternoon with a sore throat.

Yesterday was more of a comfortably numb ride and I had taken the day off so I was making like Frost's hired man which afforded me the opportunity to marvel at how life imitates art. Less than a week ago, my brother, Adam, had offered a few somewhat whimsical thoughts on time and distance being relative functions of one another in this, the only plane of existence any of us will ever know. I didn't learn anything yesterday morning I wasn't expecting to hear; just a few intimations of what I had hoped to avoid a while longer.

Drawing a line under all the poking and prodding and reviewing the sum of all of my fears, I have a few more aches and pains than I had this time a year ago and now understand that there will be more in store whether I accept them or not despite the kabuki theater we're about to do in comfortable examination rooms across New London County. My suggestion: the nine o'clock show is completely different from the seven. Dress accordingly.
-bill kenny

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