The doctor is in-sulting

Published 6:48 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

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Turn on the television, pick up a health magazine, go to most any senior citizen event and you’ll be strongly encouraged to get those annual checkups. And, that’s good. We all need to hear that and we all need to do that. But…. when you do … while you wait, are you prepared “editorially” for what’s behind the closed doors.

Thumbing through the available magazines you’ll find a variety of physical conditions that could besiege you – from shingles to sleep apnea to fluid retention to varicose veins.

Scattered among the magazines are several pamphlets about pre-need funeral planning that includes insurance, good deals on burial plots and options for a family meal along with the variety of services offered including cremation and natural burials.   

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And there are casket options. They come in different shapes and all colors including elephant gray and crimson and with audio including the Auburn Fight song that ends with “War Eagle”

When your name is at long last called in to see the doctor, the first directive is to “let’s get your weight.”

It is a known fact that doctors charge by the pound, and that should be incentive enough.

Then you are ushered into a room where your blood pressure is checked and your temperature is taken. You are asked about medications and any recent health concerns. Then you are told that the doctor will see you shortly. That’s not true.

You are left alone with ample time to read the charts on the wall about bone loss, osteoporosis, pulmonary disease, skin cancers and other conditions for you to worry about while you wait. When you are convinced that you have at least one of those conditions, the doctor taps on the door initiating an anxiety attack.

The doctor listens to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope and is rather convincing in that you do have a heartbeat and your lungs are functioning. Then, he sits down, looks you in the face and begins, “At your age (Methuselah) you can expect changes in your body and bodily functions.”

Then he begins the long list of conditions that can occur “at your age” — constipation, diarrhea, bone loss, fluid retention, swelling of the feet and ankles, hearing loss, cataracts, shortness of breath, diabetes, urinary incontinence, anemia, lactose intolerance, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, loss of taste buds, tooth decay, hardening of the toe nails, hair loss, bunions, corns, dry eyes, sagging skin, thin skin and wrinkles – just to name a few.

The doctor then wishes you a “good rest of the day.”