Six Vials Of Blood, A Chest X-ray, An Upcoming Physical, And A Double-Dose Of Chicken Wings

I finally scheduled a full physical for myself after years of not going down that particular road. Those of you who have been around for a while know that I had cervical cancer, which was excised rather mightily by colposcopy, LEEP, and then by hysterectomy back in 2007, and you are all probably screaming at your internet-wise devices right now, because what am I doing not going to the doctor more often now? DO I WANT TO DIE OR SOMETHING?

Not particularly.

wings night 1
We ordered chicken wings, and, for some reason, I believe that the acidity of coke will eat the fat out of my arteries.

I think for a while there after my hysterectomy I had some post-traumatic stress associated with people in the medical field, including even my eye doctor, strangely enough, and then I was dealing with the last couple years of my active alcoholism, which kept me pretty busy with the denial and guilt and shame and perpetual hangover business, and then there was the period beginning in late 2009 during which I assumed a healthy sainthood after I quit smoking.

I just wasn't in the mood and/or was too solidly cleaved to denial to do much for myself health-wise. I wanted my quitting smoking and drinking to be enough to carry me forward into the healthiest of futures forever, one filled with pink lungs and bright rubbery livers and little lambs bleating out my name in soft, small, clover-scented burps.

wings night 2
They were twice deep-fried for the speedy delivery of our imminent mortality.

Being that I am 38 years old, though, I have started to become more nervous about the whole health thing. I want to live for a long, long time yet. I want to get old and actually enjoy it. I want this weblog to become an insanely long-standing record of my life that nobody could possibly have the fortitude to slog through. I want to outlive the brood of children alternate-universe-me had, those fussy little ingrates. I want to get old.

So, in pursuit of this end, I made an appointment for a physical with my doctor, Dr. N. She is a thorough woman, this Dr. N, so she sent me for a battery of blood tests, a urine test, and a chest X-ray before the date of our actual appointment.

Nothing makes a lady feel young and chipper like having six vials of blood drained out of them, accidentally peeing all over her own hand because the squatting and peeing while trying to watch and handle both a small Dixie cup and one's junk just doesn't seem as easy as it used to, and handing over a sheet to an X-ray technician that has "SIGNIFICANT SMOKER" printed on it.

wings night 3
Twice deep-fried or not, we et them up in the service of the Palinode's job.

I want to feel proactive and go-forward and future-thinking about this, but my past experience tells me that doctors are the bearers of bad news. They never have stuff to tell you like Surprise! You're ten years younger than you thought! or Well, will you look at that. Your old black lungs spontaneously generated a brand spanking new pair of pink baby lungs! No. They tell you things like You never wanted to have children, did you? Because we're going to remove your uterus. and It looks like that infection in your tonsils has been there for years, and the toxins have likely been poisoning your brain. You don't happen to suffer from what looks like manic depression, do you?

I am so, so thankful to have a physician who seems to listen and is thorough, because if she tells me at the end of all of this that I am clean of bad humours and good to go, I will have a firm basis on which to confirm my belief, but, in the meantime, I am busying myself with feeling REALLY VERY OLD.

wing night 4
The Palinode looked handsome as ever while awaiting more chicken wings. His job comes with sacrifices.

I wake up with a slightly achey back, and I think I AM REALLY VERY OLD. I have suddenly developed a problem with rolling my ankles in a life of almost never rolling my ankles, and I think I AM REALLY VERY OLD. Other things that also make me think I AM REALLY VERY OLD: anxiety dreams about our financial future, seeing babies with parents who themselves look like babies, watching all the worst clothing from my youth come back into vogue, finding myself say things like In the 1980s, we wore our moccasins outside in winter and got them re-soled for eight dollars a pop every couple of months to keep our feet from freezing, buying old lady skin cream to help with feathering and brown spots, realizing that I am older than my shoe store co-worker's mother, tsk-tsking at girls for dressing too slutty at the mall, and I think, although I am not entirely sure, possibly experiencing something akin to vaginal dryness.*

wing night 5
Wings with a side of greasy garlic toast? Yes, please.

While I know that it is especially good to be getting a full physical work-up done post-cancer, post-smoking, and post-drinking, it is really unsettling to look at my body through the cold, hard lens of science. It starts to look a lot less friendly and a lot more like a barely ordered machine with a million soft parts that must be measured for aptness to fail in the short-term.

EVERY SINGLE PART OF THIS MACHINE IS GOING TO FAIL AT SOME POINT.

I am so bad at this facing mortality thing. It's been the bone to my worried dog ever since I figured out the imminent reality of death on my fifth birthday. This is the one case that makes me wish I was innately more superficial.

wing night 6
If you think this second set of wings does not look very appetizing, you are correct. They looked at me and said "Once we were chickens, and this is a pretty demoralizing way to end up".

You are probably wondering what the hell all these chicken wings-related photos are doing here. I am using them as a prime example of how not to behave if one is feeling elderly and also worrying about how her cholesterol levels might be doing.

The Palinode and I went on a small two-restaurant wing-testing jaunt yesterday evening for an article he is working on, and this wing-testing jaunt required that we eat chicken wings twice. The first place served us wings that had been deep-fried, dipped in sugary sauces, and then deep-fried a second time. They basically handed us a paper-lined basket of attempted homicide. The second place served us a set of teriyaki wings which were more like a sticky confection, only blander than unsalted potatoes, that wanted our arteries hardened before our 40th birthdays without even giving us the satisfaction of a decent mouth-gasm. There should be a vibrator equivalent to help off-set that kind of chicken wings disappointment.

This is what wings do. They plot slow death and tend to be orally dissatisfying.

wing night 7
These wings? Orally dissatisfying.

To wrap all of this nonsense up, my actual physical exam is tomorrow afternoon, at which Dr. N will have all of my tests to show me just how close I am to having some of my parts fail in a calamitous event called Schmutzie's Untimely Demise.

Until then, think happy thoughts in my general direction and tell me that you love me. I hardly knew ye. Sniff.

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* Mom and dad, if you are here and read that little bit about vaginal dryness, I apologize. You probably don't want to know stuff like that at all ever. On the other hand, though, I found it to be rather high in comedic effect, so there it sits, being somewhat horrifying.

There you have it. I am willing to sacrifice your eyeballs for comedy. Mea culpa.