Let's Get Physical(s). I Wanna Get Physical(s)!

In Part 2 of Down Size , Professor Ted Spiker says that we need to inspect ourselves both subjectively (perception) and objectively (data). ...

In Part 2 of Down Size, Professor Ted Spiker says that we need to inspect ourselves both subjectively (perception) and objectively (data). 


I've been avoiding the objective review.  

For months, I've been carrying around the reminder card that I needed to get my annual exam at the gynecologist (it was dated early this March; my GP physical is due in December) (Also -- only 17% of women get their annual? whoa.).  It's no big deal -- except that my nurse practitioner (Flynn) was the first person in the medical field to really make a big deal of my weight loss. Like a really big deal, hugs and all.  She's an athlete, an instructor, and a really awesome and supportive person.  



I really didn't want to go into her office with a weight gain. 
That's exactly what I did yesterday.  

It felt like a mix of going to the principal's office and going to confessional.  But there was catharsis in being able to say that I knew the why and the how of the weight gain. Because I knew how I got to that place on the scale, theoretically I could retrace my steps and find my way back down.  Thankfully, I know that I have her support. It means the world to have supportive, pragmatic, and honest medical professionals on my team


I realize that isn't the case for everyone.  I think it would be understandable if I had a distrust of doctors based on my past experience with them and the failures in my mother's diagnosis and care.  But I never held my mom's death against the entire medical profession, just those few people that so supremely messed up. At the end of the day, medicine is a practice that requires both the practitioner and the patient to work together to establish and achieve goals. That may take trying out a few doctors.  (Tangent:  if you don't invest in the doctor and trust them by telling them the truth, how can you get anything worthwhile out of the process? I know far too many people that tell white lies to their doctors. In the end, they're only handicapping their doctor and reducing the level of the care they receive in return.)


Even if you don't have an issue with doctors, getting to the doctor for an annual physical may still seem like a chore versus an act of self care.  For instance, the other day my dad let me know that he was going to his annual physical (hi dad! not trying to embarrass you here).  And I said "Love you! And thank you for loving yourself." He asked me how going to get his physical was "any indication that [he] loved [himself]." I tried to re-frame the concept by pointing out that when people love their cars and want them to last long, they perform routine maintenance and tune-ups.  That's what annual physicals are.

My blood work should be back the end of the week.  I requested that they do a full panel (including hormone levels, Vitamin D, STDs, etc.).  The next appointment that I need to make is for a dermatologist.  I haven't seen one for a while.  I need to find one that understands that skin picking is an issue that I'm aware of, have tried all sorts of treatment, and that management is just as good as a cure for me. 

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4 comments

  1. I'm sorry about your mom, my condolences.

    I haven't had to get my physical this year since I've had to go to the doctors fairly often in the last couple months, due to an illness that won't go away. I don't like going to the doctors' office or to the hospital, because I always end up having to wait for a long time. I know that the doctors are busy, but that doesn't make the waiting any easier.

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  2. I'm glad you are being proactive and taking care of yourself. It's too bad that some doctors make patients feel judged instead of cared for. I just had my annual and even though it's not my favorite way to spend my time, it's necessary and it really isn't that bad.

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  3. Neurotic Workaholic: There are ways to cut down on the wait -- such as being the first appointment of the day, the first appointment after lunch, and the last appointment of the day. Bring a book if possible. It doesn't have to be the worst experience.

    Ms. Lefty: I think both patients and practitioners both have pre-conceived notions that affect their ability to communicate honestly and openly. If they can each find a way to be open and honest with each other, then they both get more out of the process.

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  4. Oof, I hear you all too well on putting off seeing a doctor, who celebrated your weight loss with you, because you gained... in my case, I've been dreading going back to my (wonderful) dietician since 9 pounds came on over the summer. Ugh... I should make that appointment and face the humiliation, which I know is all just coming from within me and not from her.

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