It took me a while—basically, ever since my 30-something health panic set in—but I finally found a primary care physician and entered into the process of checking out every mole and hiccup that’s sent me into conniptions at various points over the last two years.
I found Cooper Family Medical, in case you’re wondering, at Mrs. Harrible’s recommendation, and was randomly assigned Dr. Borg. (Assigned or assimilated? Heh.) And bless her, she got right on it, matter-of-factly addressed each little concern, game planned specialists and follow-ups, and off I went.
Aside from general check-ups, of which I’ve been so woefully neglectful that I haven’t had blood work or a tetanus shot in more than a decade, I’ve done OK for my health. I mean, through your 20s you don’t really worry about much beyond “I’m coughing up green stuff” and “this bone probably shouldn’t be sticking out over here” (and lord knows, I had my share of those doctor’s visits last decade). But thanks to auto-scheduling, my dental exams have happened like clockwork every six months, plus I’ve regularly attended to all the appropriate things for Women of a Certain Age, etc.
It just so happens, though, that I finally got around to going to the GP at the same time as other medical appointments converged, and I suddenly feel a bit like a science experiment. The first meeting with Dr. Borg quickly followed my teeth cleaning and was quickly succeeded by a visit to the fine folks at LabCorp to surrender a couple vials of blood. And after I expressed a vague concern about sleep apnea—a concern that stems somewhat from a hockey tournament story about when Mrs. Harrible awoke, through earplugs, from someone’s snoring, assumed it was her 6’5”, 300-lb fireman husband and then discovered it was little ol’ me sawing some logs like a mofo—Dr. Borg was on the phone with the sleep study people. (“Do you snore?” “Boy howdy!”) Now I’m spending Thursday night in my own “private suite”—complete with queen-size bed and cable TV!—hooked up to all kinds of whatevers to see if my brain is so cross-wired that it can’t be bothered to breathe sometimes.
The kicker? Literally? My left knee, always starved for attention, is having a fit that cannot be ignored: The painful stiffness, which once limited my jogging but had subsided of late, is back with a vengeance after a series of seemingly insignificant tweaks. I spent much of last week unable to walk more than 30 seconds before being near tears.
So Wednesday I revisit Dr. Bright Begley Jr., who’d treated my hand injuries in the past and I’m told is quite the knee specialist—highly recommended by the local running community.
But I know how this tune goes: Dr. Bright will call for an MRI, which will require another follow-up visit, and both of those appointments will have to be scheduled around my return to Dr. Borg at the end of March, at which point we’ll review blood, sleep and skin to see if there’s anything else that needs to be taken care of.
I like the idea of nipping things in the bud, making sure I’m headed down a relatively healthy path. But at some point along this parade of appointments I’m sure I’ll start wishing I’d waited until 32 to rediscover family medicine.