Getting my human tune-up

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I am entering this palace-type structure that also functions as a medical clinic. This is nice, all new.

I’m here for my annual physical, which, I admit, is not done punctually. A calendar year when it comes to things like this often becomes a year and a half.

That’s what happened this time. But, I finally got down to business.

Men tend to be difficult about things like this. Many of us think that we are invincible, that we don’t need anyone to poke and needle us, never mind the other parts of the exam that are worse.

I’m not a sickly person, but am getting up in years, so getting the numbers checked out and the old body tuned up annually, is a must. But I have to kick myself all the way to the doctor’s office to do it. It’s not as pleasant as going into an electronics store and checking out the latest gadgets.

But I am impressed. The lobby is like a hotel. Everybody is pleasant. All the staff, I mean, not the sick people. I have no idea where I am going. The receptionist tells me to wait in the second floor lobby, and my name will be called.

O.K. This is when I usually get to wait so long that I’m about to forget why I’m even here. Then I get called into an examining room and wait even longer. By the time the doctor shows up, I have no idea what is wrong with me, but whatever it was, it healed.

Except this time, I’m not sick. It’s just a little check-up.

In minutes my name is called. Wow. That’s a new record. I got right in, and the nurse starts asking questions and takes my vital signs.

Blood pressure perfect. Weight perfect. I should just go now and save the time it takes for the rest of the visit.

Tetanus shot done. I can’t remember when I got the last one.

“Do you want to do an HIV test? It’s included free with your visit.”

No, thanks. I’ll pass this time.

Next they’ll throw in a set of China if you recommend a friend, like they used to do at gas stations when you filled up in the 1970s.

“Can I substitute a free teeth whitening?” I asked.

No.

“How about some gummy vitamins? I’m running low.”

No.

I like gummy vitamins. It’s like candy. But I already did a column about that.

Got all the preliminaries done. The doctor will be here in just a few minutes, she says.

Every time someone enters the examination room, they knock. It’s a nice gesture. Not that I am doing anything I shouldn’t be. I can’t even get the Internet in here. But wait, the clinic has its own WiFi.

Now that I have data service in here, I don’t care how long it takes for the doctor to show up.

Finally, there he is, balding on top, maybe late 40-ish. He starts filling out stuff on the computer screen, and does it for a long time.

They should have a nurse help him type all this stuff in, but maybe he likes doing it. It’s taking forever.

“Do you smoke?”

No, but my old doctor used to.

“Do you drink?”

Only socially, with this doctor friend of mine.

The jokes are wasted, but he is thorough. He does everything by the book.

Finally, we get down to the exam, and I’m done, except for an X-ray on my shoulder, which has been hurting, and blood tests.

This is pretty cool. I like it here. I think I’ll come back again when I’m sick.

The next annual physical, according to my calendar, will be scheduled for around Winter 2015, unless, of course, I get nagged (by you know who) too much to get it done. Then, it will probably be scheduled precisely a year from now.