I have an amazing primary care physician – I call him Dr. David and he is the nicest, most polite GP one can imagine. And in his role as well-meaning caregiver, he decided I needed to have a “big boy physical” to get some baseline numbers going into the new year. (I had a few health “things” in 2012; more on that in future posts). So, in an effort to take advantage of my already-fulfilled, $5K insurance co-pay deductable for 2012, I went for my physical on 31 December 2012 at 9:20AM. Yes, on New Year’s Eve.
On a day when the majority of people are most worried about how good they will look in a new blazer or slinky LBD, I was “Naked, gown on, open to the back” at 9:20 AM on New Year’s Eve. To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite animated cartoon characters, “Happy Happy Joy Joy.”
I think most people reading this entry have probably endured a complete physical at least once in their lives so I won’t bore you with all the details; suffice it to say that whether your favorite moment is “Now, turn your head left and cough. And again” or “Please put your feet up in these stirrups; now, try to relax” they all happened during my physical.
This physical was also my first, um, how shall I call it? – my first SENIOR physical. There is something slightly ego-deflating when your physician asks you to “…squeeze his hand as hard as you can” and then asks you to “…push away and then pull back” as he holds your forearms. (I kept scanning the room for a quad cane and/or a walker as my parting gift). Anyway, the physical went well. I was dismissed with my Hemmocult II Sensa Patient Kit (don’t ask!) and my blood work req sheet for the blood tests required. Fifteen minutes and four vials of blood later, I was done.
I was actually feeling pretty good about my physical. Sure, I have a BMI that screams “MORBIDLY OBESE” but otherwise, I felt pretty good about everything. And I had committed to Dr. David to lose at least 10 pounds before my next follow-up in eight weeks (gulp!) so no worries.
So literally the next day – New Year’s Day – Dr. David calls me at home at like 5:35PM with my test results. (He is so awesome). I get all the letters and organs confused but Dr. David rapidly congratulated me on my kidney-thyroid-liver-hcl-ppg-abc-whatever-the hell levels – they were all great, he said. He wished me a Happy New Year and hung up.
Two days later, I get another call from Dr. David. One last test result has come in, and he’s a little concerned. Turns out my Vitamin D level is really low, a 21 when the acceptable baseline is 30. There is silence for a moment then he explains that Vitamin D “…comes from sunlight.” This he says to me, the PALEST man on earth, the man who freckles as he walks to the car, the man who wears moisturizing face cream to bed with an SPF of like 60.
I mean, who the heck is Vitamin D deficient? Me, apparently.
So, no big whoop. Now I take 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 daily, along with my daily multi-vitamin (especially-formulated for men over 50), my Prostate 5LX (herbal supplement that promotes prostate health), an 81mg aspirin (all patients over 50 take it to help prevent anything horrible from happening when/if I have a heart attack), 5000 mgs of Biotin (to promote healthy hair, skin and nails), a B-12 Complex with C (increased energy and alertness) AND recently I have also started taking daily ibuprofen to help with the swelling caused by my plantars fasciitis. Yes, in addition to being afflicted with vitamin deficiencies, I also suffer from “excessive pronation ” when I walk.
Who knew that all it took to be healthy was a heavy, over-the-counter drug regimen?