CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH
29 May 2002
Never did I imagine that I would look forward to a physical exam--or feel so good at
the end of it.
When I last saw Maggie (the nurse practitioner whom I see for annual exams), it was 6
months before I started Weight Watchers, it was 7 months before I started going to the
club, my cholesterol was 215 and I was way behind on a bunch of maintenance tests.
I'd been such a good girl that I was eager to get my gold star!
But first it was life getting back to normal again. Holiday over, fever gone, time for
life to get back to usual, and that meant getting up early, making coffee by 5:45 and
hopping on the bike for the 0.63 mile ride to the club.
It was such a lovely morning I almost didn't wear my (new) windbreaker, but there was
enough chill that I figured that the wind I made riding would make me glad I had it (I was
However, the thing I didn't expect was that I would feel so weak. I mean--I was
only really down for one day--only one day of fever, and then 2 days of recovery (and that
little spike of a fever on Sunday).
When I bike to the club and there is no wind, I generally bike at 10-11 mph (my
odometer tells me). This morning I could barely get up to 8 mph, and I really dragged
myself into the club. The recumbant bike is fixed again, finally, so it was back to
usual--only I couldn't keep the energy up as high as I normally do and had to force myself
to keep going for the full 20 minutes.
When it came to the treadmill, >3 mph was definitely too fast, so I only did 2.8 mph
(though I did stick with it for 15 minutes).
When I did my favorite--the leg press--I could do 50 lbs, as usual, but I couldn't do
15 at a time, so did 3 sets of 10.
It being WeightWatchers day, I didn't go for my Greenbelt ride afterwards (just as
well--I didn't feel up to it), and when I got home, I felt like limp spaghetti.
My goodness...one day of flu does all that??????
I feel good about getting right back to the routine, though, and trust that tomorrow
I'll be feeling stronger.
Next I went to WeightWatchers. I was curious about what 2 days of minimal eating would
do--and it lost me 3.2 lbs, bringing the total to 56 lbs now. I also went up to the
meeting dressed in a dress that I haven't worn since 1986. (Now perhaps there are those
who are asking themselves what I'm doing still having such an old dress--but I
was feeling downright spiffy because I fit in it!)
Work was weird. Five (out of seven) patients cancelled their appointments. The Nurse
Practitioner says it's the elements being out of sync right now--mercury retrograde--and says it will continue
this way for another week. She says that at times like this, mechanical things or
technical things tend to go haywire and patients forget appointments. I'm not sure what
the correlation is, but it sure explains my day yesterday. (Also, the approaching full
moon might have something to do with it too.)
At some point in the middle of the day the newspaper editor called to say that she
needed my review of Midsummer Night's Dream now. I had missed my deadline.
She gave me until 3 p.m. to get her 700 words. I rushed home, wrote something
really, really stupid and managed to get it to her with 10 minutes (and exactly 2 words)
to spare. I'm either getting better at this or I'm caring less! (But when I read these
things over again afterwards, they don't sound as dumb to me as they did when I was
writing them, so we'll see how it reads when it's published tomorrow!)
Finally it was time to go see Maggie. As expected, the wait time was forever.
About an hour and a half. It certainly reminded me of the good ol' Sutter days and made me
appreciate Dr. G's office, where if patients have to wait 5 minutes, they receive abject
apologies from him.
I loved the medical assistant who weighed me and started the weight at my goal
weight and when I moved it up nearly 100 lbs, acted shocked and laughed at me and told me
that I'd made a big mistake. Surprise to her that I was right. But I loved that it
surprised her. And heck, I didn't care. I was 56 lbs lighter than my last annual exam so I
Maggie and I (we used to work together) had a nice visit, caught up on mutual friends,
and I got my exam and all my paperwork filled out. She was thrilled at all the changes she
sees in me this year. She says that for the first time in my life I'm taking care of me,
as I should have been doing for the past 58 years. She says I look like a new person and
she's thrilled for me.
Yeah. Me too!!!
When I got dressed and walked out to the waiting room, Maggie was standing at the
nurses' station and when she was me coming down the hall in my 1986 dress she beamed and
said "Well, look at you!" She gave me a huge hug and told me how proud
she was of me and said she'd see me next year.
If this much change has taken place in the last 12 months, who knows what I'll have to
talk with her about a year from now. I'm on a roll, baby!