Let’s Get Physical

Today is the 8th of October of 2008. Since the 28th of February of 2005, I have spent more time in either a hospital or a doctor’s office than most people do in a lifetime. I now have the ability to make fun of shows such as ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and House when they do or say something wrong, medically. And it has even gotten to the point now where I was able to convince Liz’s nurse on Friday that I was one of the attending doctors.

In that time, I have helped change colostomy bags, given shots, redressed open sores, replaced traches, given feedings through stomach tubes, taken care of a stroke victim, held an intubated preemie, dealt with a broken arm and a broken leg, cared for a leg that had the heel-to-toe tendon sliced in two places, been with a child that was given an MRI because of a seizure, dealt out as many drugs as a rural drug store, and have seen five children born in less than a year.

Here’s what has scared me for the last couple of months. During these last three and a half years, I haven’t been sick. Yes, I have had a cold here or there, but nothing that has lasted more than three days. One of two things will happen. I will continue to be the healthiest and skinniest dad of five alive or my time is coming. I can care for Liz or the kids with very little problem. It is as if I am now at the place where I just do what I have to. I just do it without really considering the magnitude of the task.

But, if I am going to be honest with myself, I am the biggest baby out there. I am not terrified by surgery; just hate it with all that I am. I am not afraid of needles, but hate pain. I have the pain tolerance that is off the charts…in the wrong direction.

This gets me to the point of this post. I promised Liz that sometime during the week of my 30th birthday, I will go have a physical. It will be my first since before starting college in ’97. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have been to see a doctor for myself since then. And the reason I haven’t been for a check-up? I don’t want them to find anything wrong. Yes, I know. You don’t even have to say it. But fear can lead to some stupid thought processes. It seems so human for me to be able to give the rest of my family’s health to God to care for, but for myself, I’d rather try and keep control of that.

So, lately, I have been jogging almost 4 miles everyday or at least, every other day. The problem is that I eat everything not sold at Whole Foods. Sometimes, I feel like Kramer from Seinfeld…”extra MSG for me.” My idea of THE perfect meal would consist of chips and salsa as the appetizer; chicken hearts, black beans and rice, filet mignon, a baked potato with real butter, some cheese, and lots of bacon, and the ‘Limon’ chips for the entree; a large cup of Mountain Dew; and all finished off with a large slice of REAL key lime pie. Whose with me?!

With each passing day, I get closer to finding out if my heart is functioning to capacity. Are all my blood levels where they need to be? But then again, knowing myself, if something comes back bad, I will go find a second opinion. I have heard too many wrong diagnosis and reports with little explanation. I remember when I had my emergency appendectomy in 2003, the doctor had me drink two bottles of barium to do an MRI to see exactly what was going on. The test came back inconclusive because I didn’t have enough fat in my abdomen to really see anything. I drank liquid chalk for nothing. During that same visit, a guy-nurse comes in and asks Liz, her cousin and grandmother to stand to the side because the doctor had ordered an EKG. I came in because my appendix was about to burst and they wanted to check my heart. Come to find out about two hours later, it was for a patient in a different room! But hey, the report came back great.

So often times, we want God to step aside and let us live our lives. We feel like everything is going fairly smooth and we don’t need God and His infinite wisdom to come in trying to fix this, that, or the other. But then, as soon as there is ripple in the waters, the God we have shoved aside gets dusted off and put back on the pedestal. I know nothing outside of this life. I don’t know how to think beyond. Sure, I can come up with my own made up version of something bigger than myself, but what is the point? How much of life am I passing up to search for something that I couldn’t even comprehend if I found it?

I was not blessed with the ability to predict the future. I can cook a mean frozen waffle in the toaster. I can often times get ahold of a doctor faster than some nurses can. I can strike up a conversation with absolutely anyone. But I can’t say that I can handle personal medical problems. It would be very Christian of me to say that I know God will give me the strength to get through anything. Let me put it this way. Today, while out and about with the family, Logan took one of his crayons and colored all over the van window. Now, I would love to tell you that I had an open-mind about the situation and was proud of my son for seeing a blank canvas and made some masterpiece. Logan now knows that his dad’s perception of such art is very minimal. Sitting here tonight, thinking of that scene, I want to live long enough to hear my son tell me that my grandson had done the same thing to his vehicle.

I am getting older. My right knee hurts after every run; my goat-tee is beginning to sprout gray hairs; and reality TV is now a beating. I have about 2 months to get fit. Whatever that means anymore. It is one thing to be the care-taker and another to be the patient.

As I finish here tonight, I am finishing off a bag of Ruffles and an energy drink…and it’s after 10:00 pm. Love it!

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2 Responses to “Let’s Get Physical”

  1. I want you to be able to hear about your grandchildren too hun. And I will be right by your side listening. You know hun that I will take care of you no matter what and there’s nothing we can’t get through together. We have proved that already! 🙂 I love you hun!!

  2. I’m trying to find out what doctor you’ll be seeing to have him threaten you about nthe energy drinks. I can’t say too much about the chips though. Keep on runnin’, but warm up and stretch first. And keep on running, feet on the ground & avoiding bicycles at all costs.

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