It’s that time again – my annual physical! I know it is only once a year, but I start dreading it as soon as I make the appointment, which is about four months out. I’ve been going to the same doc since I moved to North Carolina. She has always been very attentive, asked a lot of questions, and spent time with me. After all, I only see her once a year. This visit was a little different; thus, I have a new name for her: Dr. Faster-Than-The-Speed-Of-Light. For whatever reason, she seemed like she was in a really big hurry. She glanced at my chart and proceeded to give me an exam that was quicker than an airport TSA screening . In about three minutes, she was finished, gave a dismissing nod toward my clothes piled on a chair, and pronounced me healthy enough to return to the general population. The problem was that I had a question about a particular pain I am having in my lower back.
I’m a rather healthy person, but from time to time, I get an ache or pain that needs more than Ibuprofen. For instance, a few months ago, I got a really weird bite on my hand. My knuckles swelled up so much it looked like I had Cremini mushrooms on the back of my hand. Not only that, it was painful, almost like getting your hand ground down into the dirt with an army boot, size 15. It turned out to be some weird bacteria that had invaded my hand through the bite wound and was trying to alter my DNA. Ok, maybe the DNA part isn’t true, but I had to take antibiotics and get a penicillin shot to kill it.
Anyway, the doc was about to leave before I could ask about my back pain, and she was moving fast. She took one step and her latex gloves were off. She took another step and her foot was on the trashcan pedal, the lid opening and her gloves dropping in. Somehow, she also had the water running in the sink and had a soapy lather going. By step three, she had already grabbed a paper towel with one hand and was turning the door handle with the other.
It was all happening too fast. If I wanted my doctor’s opinion on my back pain, I had to act. I launched myself off the table causing my paper skirt to fall to the floor. All I had covering me was the light blue exam gown, which didn’t conceal much more than my shoulder blades.
In mid-flight from the table, I yelled, “Wait! In hindsight, I think I might have said it too loudly, because her eyes, normally friendly and crescent shaped , opened up into large jawbreaker sized orbs in her head. My hair was in my face, so when I pushed it out of the way, I inadvertently got a sideways look at myself in the mirror. Yikes! I was a sight. My long, tangled hair was doing some weird medusa dance around my head; my exam gown was open in the front exposing all of my naughty bits right down to my toes. I was hunched over a bit (duh, my back hurt), and my stomach was growling like a mountain lion from not eating, a necessary evil for the usual blood work yet to come.
The doc composed herself and her eyes shifted back to their normal, practiced, compassionate features and asked, “Was there something more?” From her tone, I could tell she wanted me to say “no” so she could go on with her day. This angered me a bit. After all, I was standing on a cold tile floor wearing an ugly blue exam gown that was barely clinging to my shoulders. To say I was a little miffed would be an understatement.
My stomach rumbled out one big ugly growl and I gave her a little smirk. I tend to get somewhat sarcastic when I am hungry. It was tough to fight back the urge to cock my head to one side, smile a big, toothy grin, and say, “I have a strange craving for BRAINS!” and then take a step toward her. But alas, I was able to keep it together. I like my doc, but I don’t think her sense of humor was working that day. Besides, I am pretty sure she could have me committed for 24 hour observation if she wanted to.
So, I calmly pulled the gown closed, straightened up a bit and said, “Yes, I need to ask about my lower back pain.”
She asked me a few questions, pushed around on my back a bit and told me to take some Ibuprofen and keep an eye on it. I was about to tell her that was what I have been doing for the past month, but when I turned around, she was gone. Damn. I should have gone with the brain-craving instead.
The good news is that my lab results came back and I have healthy blood. (Please don’t tell the vampire community.) The bad news is my back still hurts and my opinion of my health insurance is hurting as well. I am not entirely sure what to do now. The pain seems to be getting worse, so I will probably go for a second opinion pretty soon. It looks like I have a new cat butt in my life. Yay me.
Watch out this week; the cat butts seem to be on sneak attack.