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.
I 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.
"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.
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