I’m fortunate that I don’t get sick very often. Maybe it’s all those years of teaching and being exposed to every germ known to mankind – plus getting my flu shot every year. I do suffer through fall and spring seasonal allergies, so my Neti pot has become my best friend during those times as I try to keep away sinus infections.
I’ll put my cards on the table and admit it – I’m just not a fan of going to the doctor. I remember going as a kid, sitting on that table with the crinkly paper that made too much noise every time I shifted, certain that the people on both sides could hear through the thin walls every time I moved. My mom would sit anxiously in a chair nearby. I usually had an appointment due to some virus or a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop, so I already felt crummy to the max. Then the anticipation would build, and I’d work myself up into a bundle of nerves. I’d hear a flipping of papers. Then a pause. Suddenly, my pediatrician would throw that pocket sliding door open, scaring me to death every time.
Actually, he was really a kind, gentle man, and I always got that sucker from his nurse after receiving any shots, but the whole experience always left me a little unnerved. Being sick = doctor’s visit = no fun.
I still don’t like going to the doctor, even for my well-woman yearly exam. I always try to schedule as early in the day as I can because I don’t want to sit in a germ-filled waiting room while they fall further and further behind in appointments. And no, I don’t buy into the idea that two “separate” waiting areas for contagious and non-contagious patients separated by a fish tank or worse…nothing at all…truly works. Both my daughter and I have actually gotten sick from waiting for a well check-up and breathing air from the contagious side as it floats across the room.
(I’ve gotten to where I won’t even pick up a magazine in a doctor’s office after I’ve seen some patients sneeze and cough all over them! That’s what my Kindle app is for.)
I do go prepared nowadays, however. I shave my legs. That’s just basic prep in my mind. If I’m going to have my bare legs up in stirrups, I don’t want stubble (or worse – long hairs – ick!) on my legs.
I also choose my outfit carefully. Not that the doctor sees it since I’m stripped down in next to nothing with a sheet draped over my lap. The outfit is all about the weigh-in. For some reason, no matter what doctor I visit, his/her scales are at least 2 pounds (or more) heavier than mine at home. And women know, we ALL want to weigh our very least at the doctor. I’ve even known women who go on a diet for a week or two before a doctor’s visit. Yes, men are from Mars and women most assuredly from Venus. There’s not a man on the planet…or universe…that would begin to understand that concept.
So I’ve worked it to where my well-woman exam is at a hot time of year. That means lighter clothing, and believe me, I’ll pick the thinnest cotton shirt or skirt in my closet. And sandals. Definitely sandals. Sliding those sandals off for the weigh-in is a must. I still think the nurse should take a pound (or two) off for my clothes, but sandals are kicked off.
And my purse? ABSOLUTELY off my shoulder! No question about that. If I didn’t put my purse down, the scale might actually explode because the numbers don’t go up that high.
I’ve also got freshly-shampooed hair and have chomped on a piece of gum for a couple of minutes in preparation of the visit. I also make sure to have a recent pedicure, so my heels aren’t as rough as rawhide.
I even sit up straight, using my best posture from 4th grade, when our music teacher Miss Ball wouldn’t let a student’s back touch the chair back in her class while we sang folk songs about Americana. As I said, I’m as ready as I can get once a year for that annual check-up.
Heaven forbid I ever get sick in the middle of winter when I’m wearing long sleeves, a pullover wool sweater, heavy cords, and boots that take my husband or a small army to pull off…much less having legs that haven’t seen a razor in weeks and toes and heels that might frighten young children to death, much less a middle-aged physician.
No, I think I’ll reserve all future doctor visits for when I feel prepared. Better go stock up on a truckload of Vitamin C…just in case.