|But I'm not dead yet!|
It all started when my doctor quit taking my calls and refused to prescribe my thyroid, blood pressure, and I Don't Care pills unless I made an appointment and actually came in for a check up.
We had finally come to the end of my free ride. I'd been phoning it in for over a year and now, the jig was up.
I HAAAAATE going to the doctor. HAAAAATE it. Even if I feel fine, even if 10 minutes before I reach the examination room I am fit as a fiddle and rarin' to go, I just know they will find something wrong with me. And it will undoubtedly be something hideous, embarrassing, fatal, and most likely butt-related. (I know I will inevitably die from an ass-born illness/injury. It is my destiny.)
Things I Would Rather Do Than Go To The Doctor
1. Have a root canal. (Dentists don't scare me. And plus I'd get Vicodin. Or Percocet.)
2. Fly somewhere. (I hate flying almost as much as I hate going to the doctor. Almost, but not quite. Plus airports are awesome. I could totally live in SFO.)
3. Read Jane Eyre again. (Most boring. Book. EVER.)
4. Show up at a class reunion sans Spanx, make-up, and with an additional 50 lbs.
5. Tell the world how much I weigh. Without lying.
6. Wear a bikini in public. Without shaving or waxing. And run into an ex-boyfriend while I'm lying bloated, pale, and hairy in the sand.
7. Give a stranger directions by exposing my belly and using my stretch marks as a road map.
8. Talk about my sex life with my mother. (*shudder*)
9. Sit next to someone eating a mayonnaise sandwich.
10. Send my father in law to the store to purchase my feminine hygiene products. And then discuss my period with him.
So yeah... that's how much I hate going to the doctor.
So when she staged a coup and issued her ultimatum, I figured it was time to man up and get it over with. I decided to turn it into a girl's day with my 10 year old niece, with a minor pit stop at the doctor's office before we did shopping and lunch.
Riiiiiiight. Like THAT was going to happen.
"Not on MY watch!" screamed Karma, laughing maniacally and clinking glasses with Fate. "Bwaaaahahahahaaaaa!"
I was perched on the examination table, chatting away with the nurse while she took my blood pressure, when out of the blue she shooshed me.
She shooshed me.
Me: "Blah blahblah blahhhh blahblah blahhhh..."
She looked very serious as she pumped the cuff so tight I winced and my chubby little fingers became sausages, right before my very eyes.
Then she left the room without saying a word and the doctor came in with her.
Well, this can't be good...
Again, she took my blood pressure.
Naturally, I immediately began to panic. Oh my God, I thought. It's cancer of the blood pressure. I know it is. Or cancer of the asshole. One or the other. But definitely cancer. It's always cancer.
Me: *casually* "Soooooo is everything okay?"
Doctor: *not so casually* "Are you taking your blood pressure meds?"
Me: *nodding vigorously, proving I am a responsible adult who would never show up at the doctor unprepared* "Yes, every night."
Her: "Well, your blood pressure is 185/112. That's the lowest reading we've gotten."
Her: *deciding to really, really scare the crap out of me while she was at it* "You need to get over to the hospital right now for an EKG. I'll call ahead. DO NOT PUT THIS OFF. YOU NEED TO DO IT RIGHT NOW."
I took my niece over to the hospital, where I engaged in blood work, peeing in a cup, and my very first EKG.
I was terrified.
*High point of EKG: 30-ish male tech asks me how old I am. I say, in a trembling voice, because I'm a giant baby, "50..." Him: "No way. Really? That's a surprise. I thought you were like my age." Me: "This is the best day ever!"
I was pretty sure I was going to die, like, right then.
I didn't even have time to go over my Bucket List.
Hell, I didn't even HAVE a Bucket List.
How could I not have a Bucket List??? EVERYONE has a Bucket List. It's super trendy to have a Bucket List. How can I not be super trendy? Seriously, could this day suck any harder??
I sat in the EKG room with my niece and started to cry.
Her: "Why are you crying?"
Me: "Because I don't even have a freaking Bucket List!"
Her: "When can we eat lunch?"
Me: "You're the best. I love that you're here with me and making me feel better."
Her: "I know, right?"
Proof that my time on this planet has not been wasted.
My EKG turned out to be normal, so I went home with a new resolve: Stop eating microwave popcorn every single day. No pretzels in place of a meal. Candy is not breakfast. Caffeinated beverages do not count as water. Pull your head out of your ass. Seriously. Vodka is not a food group.
I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror, reviewed my lifestyle and realized that I have been playing fast and loose with my health since moving to New York.
Stupid New York. I hate New York. It's New York's fault that I've been making stupid choices and eating like a sumo wrestler on a bender.
You're 50, I informed my reflection. You can not continue to treat your body like a frat party.
Then I beat myself about the head and shoulders with some cold, hard truth:
You've gained 40 lbs in two years.
40 lbs. That's 160 cubes of butter. (I may or may not have had to use a calculator for that. Don't judge.)
Fuck. I'm pretty sure all that butter went directly to my belly, boobs and back. I look like a potato. A short potato with legs. And really awesome hair.
The next day I started Weight Watchers. Again. Because even though I lost over 100 lbs seven years ago, I had become one of those people who swore I would never gain it back who had slowly begun to do so.
Okay, actually not so slowly. 20 lbs a year is Rock Star Weight Gain status. I can re-fat with the best of them.
At least you're good at something, the bitchy me smirked at the chubby reflection in the mirror.
And then I made it happen.
Or at least, I'm beginning to. In the past month I've lost 15 lbs by eating healthily and smartly. Not Biggest Loser numbers, by any stretch (Wahhhh! I was hoping for double digits this week! Wahhhh!) but seeing as I don't have Jillian or Bob riding my ass, I'm good with that. I don't miss the foods I've given up. As it turns out, I'd rather give up microwave popcorn than my life, and I am (almost) as happy drinking a glass of Perrier as I am sucking down a vodka tonic. (Okay, that's stretching it. I'm not nearly as happy with Perrier as I am with vodka. It's not even a contest. But I'm still doing it, because the calories in vodka are just. Not. Worth it.)
God, I miss vodka.
Meanwhile, the doctor called with the results of my blood work:
I am severely anemic.
I have high cholesterol.
I had to buy a friggin' pill organizer to keep all this straight.
I do not have diabetes.
She gave me a prescription for Ambien.
I'm not dead yet.
I have a million more health tests to do, including a review of my uterus, which I may need to part company with. Eventually I will be forced to have a colonoscopy (which I am putting off as long as possible) to make sure my anemia is not ass-induced. (Of course.) But for right now, I am taking all my pills, eating like a hippie, and not putting together a Bucket List.
I don't need a Bucket List.
My best friend told me, "God won't take you a minute before your time." And while I'm not religious, I have to agree. When it's my time, I'll go. I'll go peacefully and happily (okay, that's stretching it... I'll go kicking and screaming and demanding one more cocktail) but not one day sooner.