The problem with having a physical exam at 1:20 is that anything you eat for lunch shows up instantly on the scale. It’s short-term gain, mostly from all the liquid that I down on a continuing basis practically from the time I get up in the morning. But I knew it was going to be bad enough going for the exam, so put off eating lunch until afterwards, which meant I munched on stray food like, oh, a sleeve of Thin Mints that were inexplicably in my office.
It didn’t start well. For almost a year, I had my physical exam on the calendar for yesterday at 1:20pm. Imagine my surprise to come home from work on Monday and discover that the exam was, in fact, on Wednesday, in direct conflict with a standing meeting. Oops. On the other hand, it’s spring break and the health center was almost empty.
On the other hand, the first part of any visit is getting on the scale. It was not pleasant and it was up considerably from last year — I wasn’t surprised, but I hate hate hate hate having to do that first. At least this time the scale was in a private room and not in the middle of the hallway. It’s not surprising that my blood pressure was up a bit.
Next it was on to the tiny exam room and the Paper Gown. I had a sinking feeling about this, too. I was to put the Paper Gown on with the opening in the front, climb up on the little table, and wait for the doctor. Except the gown was laughably small and I sat there, holding the Paper Drape up to my chin, tears running down my face.
It’s hard enough to go to the doctor in the first place, fearing that any problems or issues would be put down to obesity, whether that’s actually the underlying cause or not. Waiting for the reprimand, the lecture, The Weight Discussion, is made more difficult by wearing the Inadequate Paper Gown. One of these days I will actually follow through and buy myself one to bring so I can be more relaxed.
I know, I know. The answer is to be thin and not have to worry about it in the first place. But I’m not there.
My doctor and I talked about the effect of stress on my general health, including the fact that when I’m stressed, I eat. The goal now is to just stay on an even plane and not gain more, and take little steps like writing down my food and drinking more water. I didn’t get a lecture on changing my diet, having bariatric surgery, or signing up for a personal trainer. Thank God.
Getting regular physical exams, especially the routine ones, is so very important for all of us, especially those of Us who are now in the AARP age group. I live alone and if I don’t take care of myself, no one else is going to do it for me. I do routine maintenance on the car just because it’s time to do things like changing the oil or buying a new battery. The same is true for having a mammogram or colonoscopy when it’s time. I have both of those coming up later this year and despise them – but I will go.