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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A trip to the doctor

I don't go to the doctor often, despite being old and overweight. The untimely death of our long-time webmaster Joe Butler inspired me to do so. (Let's skip the part about my appointment being delayed an hour by drug salesmen who never seem to make appointments but never have a problem getting right in.)

On a television show, the doctor comes in, orders some tests, and after the commercial, tells the hero what is wrong and how to fix it and he's all better by the time the credits role. In real life, the two conversations are separated by two weeks, a dozen lab tests, and a stress test (which sounds like something I will flunk).

[This painfully reminds me of my one great attempt to get my brother to go to the doctor for a general physical; he was dead a year later.]

The doctor (no big leap of intuition here) told me to lose 30 pounds as soon as I can and then decide if I'm going to maintain that weight or get down closer to my proper weight. (Anyone who has met me knows I'm over a hundred pounds too heavy.) Worse, my weight problem is all in the worst place (my beer belly, and I don't even drink beer!); I have almost no fat anywhere else. So, a little more exercise (pushing myself away from the dinner table is suggested) and a little more sleep and take my blood pressure every day (mine was over 200 at one point today, and down to 120 ten minutes later, so they think I'm just afraid of the doctor, which is probably true) and in two weeks when the tests are back we'll see how it goes.

I will let you know. But a word to the wise....

If you haven't seen a doctor in a year, go see one. What the heck.

If you are overweight, lose some weight. If you are 100 pounds over weight, go see a doctor about losing weight. And if your spouse has a handy diabetic testing kit, run the test once a month just for grins and chuckles. And take your blood pressure once a week.

If you just haven't felt right in a while, go see a doctor.

If you feel FINE and are not overweight, go see a doctor every year or two, check your blood pressure every month, and (if your spouse is diabetic) take that blood test once a month.

And vitamins. Take some vitamins. Can't hurt. And eat better. Less sugar, less fat, more vegetables (and potatoes are not vegetables, they are starches).