Wednesday, June 15, 2005

BODY TWEAKING AND CREAKING

No one can beat Father Time.

At slightly past mid forty, the 'engine' begins to experience tweaks and creaks like a Proton.

Went for my annual medical check up last week.

Been doing that for the last 9 years.

It is always a pleasure to be on the receiving end of services Japanese styled.

The neat slippers... the cotton pressed light green pajamas... it was blue last year...

At 8:15 am, our group of about 20 ugly men took turns to pee into our respective paper cups.

We were to reject the first 30 cc and take only the middle portion of the pee.

Hmmm... now, how do I that...

Next, a veteran nurse took blood from my right arm... no pain...

The chest x-ray was a 30-second affair; no need to remove my pajamas...

I then peeped into the monitor that showed my liver, pancreas, etc, but could not make out what was what.

To check my weight, height, and body fat, all I had to do was to stand barefoot on a square plate with contact points at the heel.

Blood pressure was 62 and 110... pretty normal, thankfully.

The ECG was also another lightning fast affair.

But my eyesight is surely going to the dogs.

Had trouble to make sense out of those fat characters at the very top line of the table...

So much for reading the small fonts from Jackie Collins' saucy novels in the dimly lit hotel rooms while working in the airlines.

A punishment from God, perhaps...

At about 9:00 am, I began to feel hungry because I was to come with an empty stomach.

In the room that examined my eyeballs, the machine flashed right into the deeps.

Vertigo, man...

The 'nastiest' part of the check up was probably that of the stomach.

The nurse makes an injection on my right arm to 'calm' the stomach muscles.

Inside the room stood a vertical platform, a bed with two handles on the sides.

It quite resembles a torture table...

There were three items on the left side of the platform...

A small container of white granules, a small plastic cup filled with about 50 cc of valium, and a larger plastic cup filled with about 200 cc of valium.

The technician instructed me to sip from the small cup.

I was then to transfer the granules into my mouth and to wash them down with the remaining Valium from the small cup.

The granules tasted like lemonade, sort of like Eno.

Not too bad a taste...

Valium is whitish, and the texture, heavy powder.

The taste?

Yaaarrrggghh... even with an empty stomach...

This 15-minute routine required the technician to move the 'bed' horizontally and vertically, and me to repeatedly turn my body in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

Quite strenuous, and I wonder how many more years I can do such a thing.

Upon finishing, I was advised to take two laxative pills to flush the Valium out of my system by the end of the day.

I was the first among the 20 ugly creatures to finish all the tests and consequently, the first to enjoy the two-tier hexagonal box lunch provided.

Not all hospitals provide this lunch service.

The box lunch was a rather grand thing with about almost 30 different items, all tiny portions of course.

The main course was grilled sea bream and there was shellfish, beef, pumpkin, tofu, yam, boiled vegetables, rolled egg, rice and miso soup, followed by hot coffee.

Still, I could not really enjoy the lunch as my stomach felt heavy with that load of Valium.

It was like I had swallowed a calf whole, and the animal is not digesting.

Paid 2050 yen (a little over 70 ringgit) for the check up, about 10% of the full price.

Now, for the results in a week or two...