My First Trip to the Doctor in Five and a Half Years: A Live Blog

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My First Trip to the Doctor in Five and a Half Years, A Live Blog.

by Ryan Callahan

Recent changes in public policy, and the health of my relatives, has allowed/compelled me to visit the doctor for the first time since July 15, 2008. There is only one true way to properly document such an historic moment: a live blog.

9:45AM – Arrive at Baylor Family Medicine of Uptown for my 10AM appointment. The lack of fanfare is appalling. No banners, no balloon, not even a hastily made, hand-written sign saying “Congratulations on Your Acceptance of a Modicum of Adult Responsibility, Ryan!” I must have the wrong day.

9:46AM – According to the Receptionist, I have the right day. She feigns ignorance about the missing signs and banners.

9:48AM – The Receptionist asks me to take a seat and wait. She offers me neither complimentary beverage nor snack nor relaxing foot massage. She is either completely unaware of the significance of my appointment or she is aware and has chosen to play some kind of cruel trick on me. Neither answer is satisfactory.

9:50AM – Still waiting.

9:51AM – Still waiting.

9:52AM – Still waiting. Cleary, I’m the victim of some elaborate practical joke. I am a human being, damn it! I do not deserve to be treated like this.

9:53AM – Still waiting. Also crying.

9:55AM – Someone calls out my name. Salvation! Escape. I bound across the room in high spirits and embrace the Nurse who called me. The embrace is warm and long and tight. Or would have been, had the Nurse not stepped aside. Nothing makes sense here.

10:00AM – The Nurse leads me to an exam room, where she takes my pulse, blood pressure, and temperature. She offers no compliments on my vitals, not my pulse, which is quite stunning, my temperature, which is one degree cooler than average, or my blood pressure, which is dangerously high for a man my age.

10:05AM The nurse tells me to wait for the doctor, who shall be along any minute. These people are trying to drive me mad.

10:06AM – Waiting for the Doctor.

10:06:30AM – Still waiting.

10:07AM – Oh dear lord, will this never end?

10:07:01AMThe Doctor arrives. She’s younger than me by a few years, which brings a drop of joy, (no weathered, old, father-figure who will judge me for my absence and condescend to my every question,) followed by a wave of anxiety, (she’s probably too young to understand my pop-culture references,) followed by a tsunami of shame, (I have accomplished far less in my life than this woman.) Only after the shame subsides do I realize the she carries neither balloons nor gift bag to celebrate my appointment.

10:09AM – We discuss the reason for my visit, my lifestyle, and my family history. Heart disease runs in my family, along with high blood-pressure, high triglycerides, diabetes, poor vision, depression, anxiety, excessive sweating, the use of the word “wicked” as a synonym for “very,” passive-aggression, alcoholism, good skin, withering sarcasm, the internalization of all negative emotion, silliness, and a love of bacon-wrapped foods.

10:23AM – I pause and give the Doctor her chance to contribute to the conversation. She shares nothing, even though I have laid my heart bare. Not a single hope, dream, desire, anecdote or personal revelation. Instead of opening up to me and developing a personal rapport that could last a lifetime, she begins her examination, like I’m just one of her patients.

10:25AM – The Doctor checks for hernias. Again, the lack of fanfare is appalling.

10:26AM – I have been asked to put my laptop away and stop typing for the rest of the examination.

10:40AM – At the conclusion of the examination, the Doctor tells me to lose 30 pounds, adopt the Mediterranean diet, and come back to see her again in three months. I normally don’t like to move that slowly, but I’ll make an exception in her case.

10:42AM – The Nurse returns with a cup for my urine sample. She points me to a bathroom. I ask if the bathroom has a shelf for my laptop. She ignores the question.

10:45AM – Live blogging and filling a sample cup with urine is a dangerous combination. I’d hate to be the guy who has to clean this bathroom.

10:55AM – It turns out I am the guy who has to clean the bathroom. This decision was reached after a lengthy discussion, which involved most of the staff, a few patients, some security guards, and featured screams and shouts and mops thrown and punches thrown and some tears and some more shouting and even more tears (they were saying some hurtful things) and finally, amazingly, agreement. If I clean the bathroom and promise never to return again, they will give me a certificate of examination suitable for framing. At last, some fanfare.


Ryan Callahan is a current DCH student who loves crime novels and pro wrestling. He's the brains behind WikiFakeAnswers.