Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Don't Worry About It

Medicare pays for me to visit the doctor every year for a total check up - inside my head and my body.  The visit was preceded by fasting labs taken a week before.  The results were in my portal but I didn't open them.  

I was weighed and volunteered to be measured.  It took me a moment to stand up straight enough to be five feet tall.  I surprised the assistant by pushing the measuring bar up into her hand, but she, too, is 5' tall and she understood me completely.

The on-line preparatory questionnaire took a while to complete.  Most of it was related to isolation.  The questions asked about the recent past - 7 days, 2 weeks - and how often I felt despondent, with no one to ask for help.  They danced around it, screen after screen, not once asking me how often I felt joy.

My doctor asked me that.  It's one of the many reasons I like her.  First thing out of our mouths was It's so good to see you! followed by my favorite question these days: How are the grands? We laugh, she asks her questions about my health naturally, and by the end my blood pressure is 5 points lower than the reading her lovely assistant took at the start of my visit.  

I'm at the top of some ranges of some things they tested, but they changed the ranges so who knows.

Her sole purpose seems to be to put me at ease.  I'm scheduled to retake the labs in three months, but I'm not worried about it.  Those are exactly the words you want to hear from a doctor you trust.  

Up on the exam table so she could hear my allergy plagued lungs and peer into my ears,  I asked about the ten pounds that have gathered around my middle over the past few years.  I am exercising, eating, sleeping, drinking the same as I have always been exercising, eating, sleeping, and drinking.  I could understand losing weight as muscle and bone mass decrease, but gaining weight?  

Don't worry about it.  She said that.  She smiled and went on with her exam of my totally flabbergasted body.  Then it hit me.

So, it's just another part of being an old person?  

I said it matter-of-factly but she was startled and almost concerned that I called myself old.  She was forced to agree that 71 are a lot of years to have survived on the planet, but I wanted to get back to my burgeoning waistline. 

Her answer was always the same. Don't worry about it.  Keep moving and don't worry about it.

I made her repeat it a few more times, trying to believe that it could be true.  She laughed when I told her I gave away all my belts and that I lived in elastic waisted garments.  

It's not affecting my health, therefore, I shouldn't worry about it.  She told me so, a bunch of times, in ever more delightful ways, as she set me up for my flu shot.  I left the office, made an appointment for the lab work, and left with a smile on my face.

Sure, there are things that bear watching, but I'm not going to worry about it.  Doctor's Orders.


  1. Your post about Medicare questions ties in with Ladies Who Lunch conversation this week about depressed old people.

    My friend whose children are therapists say she has told her children to be on the lookout for this issue, but very few of the older people are their patients. They are more likely to see younger people who are still trying to figure out their life and middle age patients who are afraid of getting old without having lived the life they did figure out. It seems the elderly just suffer in silence.

  2. When it comes to what's going on with me, I am worried about it, but I try not to be.
    Getting any appointment with a medical provider, even a phone appointment, takes weeks, even months.
    I'm glad you have permission to not worry about it.

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that. My doctor's office is usually available for a same day PA or RNP appointment for an emergency and schedules next appointments with no trouble. You have more to worry about, perhaps, and I'm not talking specialists (the dermatologist could see TBG in January until I took the phone and mentioned that he had something I wanted looked at and suddenly he was in on Monday).

      I'm working on the not worrying thing..... we shall see.

  3. I have my wellness visit during the winter so it takes place in FL. One cannot ask about concerns about guns in the house but, boy, watch out for those scatter rugs because they are apprently quite dangerous.


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