AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 8/01/2002 11:56:00 PM ----- BODY:
I REALLY don't want to go to the doctor. I'm kind of flipping out about it, actually. The more I thought about it today, the more I took stock of my general physical condition in preparation for seeing my trustworthy but incredibly blunt nurse practitioner tomorrow. I feel like it's a big test that I haven't studied for--haven't even cracked the book. Cholesterol: sky high. Skin: mediocre to poor (during my teenage years, said NP once bugged me about a skin problem to the point where I was shamed into going to the dermatologist; it's still something she watches like a hawk). Diet: Oh, dear God. Weight: Let's not even talk about it. Blood sugar: probably not good. Exercise: nonexistent. Hydration: eh. Gyno stuff: okay. Fingernails: still bitten. Hair: decidedly greasy. Teeth: fair to middling, but that's not her job anyway. Eyes/ears/nose/throat/lungs: one word: Marlboros. Stomach: acidy. Brain: neurologically screwy. Mental health: better than it has been, but that's not saying much. I need more time. Problem is, you can't cram for a full physical. I figure it'll go something like this. I'll show up and wait till at least fifteen minutes past my appointment time of 10 am. This will give me time to read the same paragraph of a boring women's magazine over and over again while I think up even more stuff that she's going to cluck over. The nurse will call me in. Heart pounding, I will balk at the scale. A nice nurse won't weigh me, because they can't force you. A meaner one will but will let me turn my back to the scale weights as she slides them around. A really mean one will make me face them, and then I'll have to struggle not to look, and then I'll look anyway and hate myself for months. Then they'll seat me in an examining room on the little paper. Take my temperature and blood pressure. The blood pressure is the one thing I normally pass with flying colors, but if I've had a mean nurse, even that may not be the case. Then they'll leave me in there another ten or twenty minutes to mull over the facts of my physical existence for a little while longer. Finally, the NP, Leslie, will come in, stethoscope swinging, clipboard in hand. Over the next forty-five minutes to an hour she'll poke and prod and cluck and scold, and I'll get (figuratively--certainly not literally) smaller, and smaller, and smaller, till I need a grappling hook to get my sorry ass up to the receptionist's desk to hand over my final report, which will have "unhealthy fat slob" written all over it in medical jargon. Hopefully there won't be any more tests or follow-up visits to schedule; then the receptionist will merely raise her penciled-in eyebrows over her heavily painted lids at me, and let me escape. Otherwise, she'll schedule appointments and clack the necessary codes into her keyboard with a heavy sigh, all with an air of palpable contempt. So, like I said, I REALLY don't want to go. If this is a test, I'm past the cramming stage. I'm looking for excuses that'll let me get away with skipping class altogether. Of course, the supreme irony here is that I've actually never felt this way about an academic evaluation. Yep, in the brain department, I'm completely confident. If I was just a huge brain floating around in space, communicating telepathically through radio signals, I'd be just fine.