Fear of Falling

Doctors, Doctors—Why Do I Have So Many Doctors?

Every year around this time, I decide that I may be single-handedly responsible for our nation's overwhelming healthcare expenses. That's because all of my annual medical appointments come around at once. And because, at seventy, there are just more things to check out.

On Election Day I had my annual dermatology exam. Later that week it was the dentist. (OK, that's twice a year.) But this week I've already had two M.D. appointments and it's only Thursday. The first was my annual physical. That seems to take longer than in the old (young) days. I know that back then my doctor did not go behind me and whisper "Can you hear me?" as a subtle way of testing my hearing. Actually, I'm on to him now, so I know when he goes behind me I should just say "Yes." I think I passed the exam because the next day when I saw the breast surgeon (following up every year due to non-cancerous cysts), she told me that my internist had entered his thoughts in my electronic record and I am apparently in great shape. What she didn't say, but I heard anyhow was "for someone your age."

Yet to come before the New Year, my annual eye exam and after that my annual gastro-intestinal check up to make sure I'm sticking to my required gluten-free diet. (I am, but it takes a blood test to be sure.) I really am fond of my G.I. doctor so I enjoy my annual catch-up with her. I already know, however, that she'll be reminding me that next year it will be time for another colonoscopy.

It's great that I'm in good shape (for someone my age). I just wish it didn't cost so much to find out.


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