I have a confession to make: prior to today it had been about three years since my last annual physical (so much for annual). I did have to go through a pretty extensive doctor's visit prior to being hired by my current employer but I will pretend that doesn't count. See, I have been considered either overweight or obese nearly my entire life. When you weigh 250lbs, the doctor generally does not have many favorable things to tell you. It got to the point where I had serious anxiety about going to see a doctor and so I just sort of stopped going. You can't give me bad news if I don't come in for a visit, right? Ha.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about my health lately and decided that with all of the long-distance running I intend to do next year and with the history of heart disease on both sides of my family tree, I ought to get myself checked out. I called some practices in the area who declared they were not accepting new patients. On my third call, I finally heard some good news. Not only was my doctor of choice accepting new patients but she had a cancellation for Monday morning. I like to think that these things are meant to be and so I happily accepted the appointment.
As I sat in one of the patient rooms, I could hear faint voices through the wall. I could tell that the patient had a lot of questions and the doctor was taking the time to answer each one. It made me smile. I would happily wait as long as necessary to be seen if I was going to receive the same level of attention and care. Shortly thereafter, my doctor came in an introduced herself. Her questions about my personal and family medical history were like a dialogue between friends, completely unlike the methodical checklist I'm accustomed to.
She took time to answer the questions I had and she congratulated me heartily when I told her the amount of weight I've lost in the past four years, and about running my first half-marathon. I mean if you can't brag to your doctor about something like that, then who? She asked me if my weight was still a concern of mine and I told her yes and that ideally I'd like to lose about 40 pounds more.
At the end of my visit she handed me a printed clinical summary, which impressed me so much. The best part was in the notes she typed at the bottom: "Healthy adult female. Currently, she eats a healthy diet and has an adequate exercise regimen." I don't think any doctor has said that about me, ever. As I read the words a second time, I beamed with pride. Healthy! Hopefully my lab work will yield pleasant results and then maybe for once I can say I look forward to next year's exam. Today really brought home what a tremendous difference I have made in my life and I couldn't be more proud.