I went and got my physical examination today, though I did not get good and drunk the night before so I would look and feel my best when I went in this morning. I was the All-American Kid from Our Little Town, and I was hung down, brung down and all kinds of things, as appropriate.
Three cheers to anyone who gets that reference, by the way.
Our Little Town is going through something of an economic shift. The Great Big Factory closed down a few years ago and remains stubbornly vacant, which didn’t stop Governor Teabagger from putting up a big billboard right in front of it proudly touting his job creation record. I’m still not sure whether that was an oversight on the part of his PR staff or a political commentary on the part of the billboard people, since an empty factory is precisely appropriate for a governor who has presided over 39,000 lost private sector jobs since his budget was approved, at a time when the rest of the nation is actually gaining jobs. Either way, it was funny.
Since then we’ve seen a spate of hospital building. People will always get sick, and under our current “pay-to-play” health care system there is good money in that, so in the last few months we’ve seen a brand new hospital open up and an old hospital get new additions and satellites. It will be interesting to see what this does to the culture of Our Little Town in the long run.
This was my first time at the new hospital.
It is a palace.
You walk in and there is a person there at the front door whose sole job is to tell you whether to turn right or left. Then, having chosen the appropriate direction, you walk down a corridor lined with health care retail outlets (pharmacy, eyeglasses, other things I really don’t want to know about, and so on) to the stairs, which wind along a three-story fountain, the kind you used to have to go to a casino to see.
I prefer not to think about that parallel any further.
I took the stairs rather than the elevator because I am trying to be better about things like diet and exercise. Last year was a lost year for such things, and at my age such years need to be kept to an absolute minimum. So I’m eating better than I did, and I really will start to exercise more one of these days. Really.
Hey – I lost three pounds over the Christmas holidays. I’m doing something right.
I like my new doctor. He’s friendly, professional, and appropriately apologetic about the indignities visited upon middle-aged men during their physicals. Those indignities are a high-class problem to have in this age where health care is considered a privilege, granted, but a problem nonetheless.
So I’m about as healthy as you would expect for a 46-year-old man who spends most of his time in front of a computer or deep in a book. I need to continue eating better, and I should move about more than I do. All of the various blood tests from last month came back as “you’re okay but could do better with better food and more exercise,” which I already knew, and nobody seemed to feel a need for anything drastic. Certain things are better when they're boring - travel, international politics, and health care most notably. So this visit was a success, I think.
And I get to go back and do it again next year, for which I am grateful if not exactly thrilled.