Friday, July 11, 2008

Dry spell

I am, by and large, a fan of middle age. While I'll admit, I miss all the unbounded energy that I had when I was young, I don't miss all the stupid.

That said, everything comes with a price and sometimes we are all still prone to moments of youthful folly.

One of the prices is that instead of an annual check up, you have to go in for semi-annual checkups. With this, comes the joy of tests. Pretty much it seems to be that even though your doctor can't find anything wrong with you, he is determined that in spite of the fact that you are doing what you are told, getting exercise, eating right and in general if not embracing at least abiding by clean living, that there has to be something wrong with you.

When this first started to happen, I used to fret. I figured the doctor wouldn't be ordering the tests unless he suspected something dark and terrible lay in my future. Now after something over a decade of this nonsense I have come to realize that it is just something doctors do to keep themselves amused. It would be pretty harmless if they confined themselves to blood tests. But the little dears get bored and so they occasionally throw in something to make their lives a little more interesting and yours a little more inconvenient.

I had to go in for a checkup a couple of weeks ago. It was at best perfunctory, since other than the odd cold, I am refusing to come down with any life threatening diseases. This is just not acceptable. How are they suppose to make a made for TV movie out of my brave struggles with and unnamed movie disease? Think "Dark Victory".

So, in spite of my complete lack of any symptoms, my doctor ordered an ultra-sound to check on a pre-existing condition that is well under control. Not the most onerous of procedures, but it was going to take a bite out of my work day. Depending on how you look at it, a pain in the neck or not necessarily a bad thing. Or at least so I thought up until I suffered a momentary bout of youthful stupidity. The receptionist said, "I can get you in next Thursday at 2:15." I said, fine and that was my mistake.

"Okay, just remember, you can't have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your procedure." the receptionist said, and I was shoved out the door.

It was at that moment that I was reminded that in the past, every time I have had to undergo any test that has required fasting that I schedule it for first thing in the morning.

It isn't even the fasting. I can go all day without eating if I am busy and not have it bother me. It is the no liquids that gets to me. I am a water addict. I admit it. Lest you think I am one of those who is hording cases of bottled water, I would like to say in my defense that I fill up my water bottle from the tap. I will buy water at a store, if I am out and thirsty, but by and large, "eau du robinet" is my beverage of choice. If I don't get my fix, I get cranky.

Yesterday was a bit warm, so by the time I got over to the hospital, I was feeling a bit on the dehydrated side and more than a little cranky. However, I did actually get to the radiology clinic early and surprise of surprises, was ushered in almost immediately. The radiologist, a very pleasant young woman said something to the effect that she would be able to get me in and out in no time and I would be able to get myself something to eat. I told her that honestly, all I really wanted was to be able to get a glass of water.

"Oh. You can drink water before this test. It's just things like coffee and tea and soft drinks that you are not suppose to drink".

I refrained from having a complete melt down on the spot and as a reward, I was walking out of the facility at the time my appointment was originally scheduled for, sonogramed and found free of the dreaded, unnamed, made for TV movie disease. Safe and confident in the knowledge that I was free to terrorize an unsuspecting world for another day, I immediately found and sucked down an iced coffee, before heading out to try and drain the Quabbin Resevoir.

I was talking with Monkey this morning and relating my sad experience. I did point out that regardless of the poor preparation instructions I had received that I had refrained from murdering the radiologist.

Monkey wasn't fooled and pointed out to me that the only reason I hadn't run to my doctors office, ripped the head off the receptionist and slaked my thirst by drinking her blood was because I was too weakened by dehydration to do so.

There is no fooling your friends at times, and I suspect Monkey boy is right. However, intend to drink enough water today so that I slosh while I walk.