It's Like The Olympics, But Not

It's that time again.

Time for my annual physical check-up. Actually, "annual" is a misnomer.

More like quadrannual* visit to the doctor, as I only seem to drag myself there every four years. (* Okay, I KNOW that's not a real word. But it does sound cool... quadrannual, quadrannual...)

It's kinda like the Olympics.

The first event? The Booking Of The Appointment.

My competition is fierce: an over-zealous secretary, seasoned in the sport who can multitask scheduling, answering phones and assisting the physician all at the same time. Her intense training has served her well; with mouse flying and fingers hammering the keyboard, she deftly searches the calendar for an available slot.... we parry dates and times back and forth; me with my Palm Pilot, she with the Mac.

Dang! She takes the first race by keeping me waiting three months.

In preparation for the next match, The Laboratory Tests, I was instructed to fast. I read my instructions again. Fourteen hours???? I can't have anything to eat or drink for 14 frickin' hours? Oh, wait. I get water....

Perfect. I'll definitely need that for one of the tests...

Early the following day I find myself at the Medical Facility Venue.

Actual poster from the LabI wasn't lulled into a false sense of calm by the cutsie Keith Kimberlin kitten and puppies posters lining the walls; they were out for blood here.

I started out slowly, holding sixth place in line when I was tripped up by an elderly lady in front who decided she needed a 30 minute rest stop in the one and only bathroom. Employing my best tippy-toe manoeuvre with specimen cup in hand, I began to sweat as I surveyed the crowded wating room. In horror I realized there were four more geriatric gents with accompanying specimen bottles all ahead of me. Ahhhhhh!

After finally completing that leg of the marathon successfully, I size up my opponent for the ensuing bout; a large Russain technician with dark red lips pursed with tension. I ponder back and forth whether to ask if I can record the momentous occasion with a photo. She is stern and I fear repercussions; I can imagine her hearty laugh, a thunderous "Nyet!" as she stabs me with the syringe.

I jump when her thick accent barks out my name and I head to the little room with the student-style chair/desk and take my position. I also decide to risk it all.

Surprisingly, she smiles and is more than pleased to have me take pictures as she drains three vials of blood from my arm.

One tube...
Two tubes...
Gah! Three tubes! Hah! I finally win a Round, for I refrain from fainting (it's been known to happen) and I have brightened her day with a story she can regale her co-workers with for years to come.

"You should have zeen za nut vit a camera I poked today..."

But it is far from over. The sport recommences in two weeks when the Abdominal Jabbing, Wheezing Test and the dreaded Stirrup Sessions are scheduled.

In the meantime, I decide to continue my prepartory training in weight loss and scale jumping.

Now I remember exactly WHY I choose to participate in these damn Games only once every four years.

25 People would rather be commenting:

mr zig said...

sweet! you took pictures of your blood extraction! I've wanted to do that for some time, but never had the courage to pull my camera out! I was too afraid of the lady with the needle!

lotus07 said...

You actually took a picture of the phlobotomist taking your blood? You have more fortitude than I do....I can't even look at the needle.

JD at I Do Things said...

For the past 8 years, I've won the Gold in Needle Sports.

I even filmed my thyroid biopsy here!

http://idothings.info/i-had-a-needle-stuck-in-my-throat-so-you-dont-have-to/

Congrats on making it through this event. I'm sure you'll medal in the Stirrups Competition.

Vegas Princess said...

You pictures made me dizzy.

But I have to give credit to lotus07 knowinf the name of those people who take your blood. I would have no idea what a phlobotomist is without seeing it mentioned here.

I run a heat of my own tomorrow, complete with MRI hurtles and X-ray joust.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Man, I was a nurse and I can't watch my blood draws. I get sick and pass out. You get the gold definitely for taking pics of the horrid event.

Phoenix5 said...

Once again you entertained me with your hilarious descriptions! I've never thought of comparing a visit to the doctor's to the Olympics! You are so very creative! Not to mention funny! Ever thought about trying stand-up comedy? LOL!

I've never had trouble seeing my own blood, but watching someone else's has made me queasy on occasion. Neat that you took pictures!

Don Mills Diva said...

I love that you tok those pictures! I'm too queasy to even look as well...

Slyde said...

ack! that picture with the needle in your arm is making me cringe.. and its not even my arm!


ouch!

andi said...

I'm like lotus07 - although I really don't mind the needle, I can't look at it. Ew.

I've tired of doctor's appointments after two pregnancies. Are you seriously telling me I have to keep going? Sigh.

Maureen said...

Mr. Zig: Yeah, I was waffling back and forth for a bit before I just bit the bullet and asked. I was surprised she said yes, to be honest!

Lotus07: Heh, good for you for knowing the title! Usually I can't look either (I don't watch the poke), but taking photos actually made it painless; I was concentrating on getting the shot instead of watching, if that makes sense... and we were both laughing the whole time!

JD: I will definitely HAVE to follow that link!!! And the Stirrups Comp has me nervous; there definitely WILL NOT be photos of that one!

Vegas Princess: Oooohhh... hope everything went okay today.

Ed: But, but, you're a NURSE! I thought you guys had fortitudes of steel! I've passed out a couple of times; once when donating blood, the other when I was having a procedure where they removed blood, added an XRay agent and then RE-injected me with it. That freaked me out...

Phoenix5: Ha! Thanks... but I am a wimp; if I wasn't joking so much during the event, I would have been sweating it out like normal. And there is NO WAY I could get up on stage... I am blissfully alone when I post these... ;) (and I can't hear the Boos from the audience)

Don Mills Diva: What I'll do in the name of blogging, I'll tell ya...

Slyde: Well, I have to give props to the tech; she was so good, I barely felt it!

Andi: Apparently. But I try to go as least as humanly possible. And I WORK in a hospital!

PG said...

quadrennial is the word, so you were in the ballpark.

And nice work busting the camera out. I am always afraid to ask at the Docs. Maybe next time.

Good luck getting yourself into a condition that won't completely piss off your doctor! You can do it!

Nora said...

It sounds like Canadians take their health awfully serious. What do they look for in all these tests? To see if you are still breathing? You're not a blond are you? It all sounds very expensive and I wonder if it is all necessary when you are a relatively young and healthy woman. Sounds to me like a way for the medical system to make some money out of people. It's a good thing that you don't go every year. Although I do understand the stirrups test.

Maureen said...

PG: Thanks! I need you as a coach! You are an inspiration, to be sure. Ha! I KNEW there must have been a term to describe every four years!!! Thanks!

Nora: Well, I'm 48 this year, so there are tests I need to have now I have never had before. We have diabetes in the family, so I was tested for that. As well, I've never had a cholesterol workup, so the other tube and fasting was for that... and since we have socialized medicine, at least I don't have to pay for it (well, other than in my taxes, of course!)

Tara R. said...

Spreading out the events? Whodda thunk... and here I've been trying to cram them all into one day. I like your method better. Cool pix!

Momo Fali said...

For the scale portion, I suggest a uniform of thin shorts, a tank top and flip flops. And, don't forget to take off the flip flops right before mounting.

Maureen said...

Tara: It's the only way I can get through it all... and thanks!

Momo: Woot! I have my very own coach! I am going to remember your sage advice; (I'm gonna need it). Thank you.

toners said...

LOL! You brought it all back to me and described the exact reasons why checkups are something I avoid as long as I can until the office leaves me enough annoying, perky "friendly reminders" that I am due for a checkup :) Great post - as always!

LadyBanana said...

What a great idea taking a shot of your own blood test!

It would be fun to do that at a blood donation session...

BTW I am a qualified phlebotomist although I'm not currently doing that..

Karen MEG said...

This takes blogging to a whole new level Maureen, you have pix of your blood drawing ... you take the gold, that's for sure! I could never do that, take pix I mean. Usually have to look away.

Good luck on the next round!

DJ Kirkby said...

You are so funny!!!! You took a pic of your blood being taken? No wonder you faint! Lol, I love your posts.

Huckdoll said...

Oh my gosh, I am queasy just from reading that and seeing the pictures. Last time I had blood drawn, I fainted and fell. Luckily, there is a very special room for the fainters which included leather recliners and apple juice!

Now I always tell them that I'm a fainter and I get that room.

Canadian flake said...

ughhhhhhh these lovely events should be outlawed I think..they were invented by men I feel sure..lmaoooo.

I often have to fast for blood work due to the diabetes...and I don't enjoy it much either..lol.

Maureen said...

Toners: The only "reminders" I get is for the dentist - which is the Winter Olympics in my world...

Lady Banana: And I'll bet not ONE of your patients ever asked to take pictures; right?

Karen Meg: Thanks and thanks!!

DJ: Yeah, I took pics; something the tech said had never happened before. I am weird. And thanks too!

Huckdoll: Okay, I am SO asking for the recliner and refreshments next time...

Canadian Flake: Yeah, one of those vials was for a fasting glucose... I know what you mean.

BusyDad said...

Well the way things are going these days, it probably won't be too long before "drug testing" actually becomes and Olympic event! And Yeowch - I can't even look at my blood being drawn, much less focus and click on it.

Maureen said...

BusyDad: Yeah, you are probably right! But the blood test went well; I was concentrating on getting the shot, so I didn't get queasy at all (like I usually do!)

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