Monday, June 18, 2007

NINGEN DOC a.k.a. MEDICAL CHECK-UP

Hospitals or clinics (especially those in the country side) sometimes double as places of social interaction especially among the senior-senior citizens...

The saying goes in that, if you are absent from the hospital or clinic over a prolonged period of time, you have either kicked the bucket, or you are on the verge of doing so...

June is that time of the year for my annual medical check-up...

Been doing this for more than 10 years in a row, but I still cannot get used to that Valium stuff...

The instructions are pretty standardized... stool to be taken over two days... no gnawing of food after nine the previous evening... report at the hospital before eight in the morning... etc...

Was the first one to report today... this is a first for me as throughout the years, no matter how early I thought I was, there was always some one else reporting ahead of me.

The gong goes off at eight twenty... and the process starts rolling...

The first thing to do... pee into paper cup... and the instruction on the wall says, do not take the first 30 ml of pee, take only the 'central' part of the pee and fill up to one third of the cup... wheew...

Then, measure height... weight... fat content... all these done by one single sleek machine... just needed to stand barefoot on a plate and lean straight... a bar gently drops from above to touch the crown and hola!

Blood pressure check follows... and, heart beat... max and min...

They used to have the eyesight checks manually where you stand about three meters away from the zeros and alphabets...

You are supposed to block one eye with a spoon-like tool and try to mumble the correct number or alphabet under the hawkish eyes of a lady nurse...

This year, they used a machine... and I think I may have 'cheated' by continuously guessing instead of admitting failure... there was no eagle-eyed nurse around to spot me...

Sometimes I think it is amazing that we do not fall sick more often... think about it... just about anything can go wrong with any part of our anatomy... eyes, nose, stomach, brain, liver...

Am turning 49 next month, so, am bracing for some repair work to be done on my 'machine... let's see what the results say in a week's time...

The good thing about this official medical check up is that, you get an official day off although this does not mean that I can goof off for the day to play with my goldfishes...

The reason is, you have to 'eject' out the Valium taken during the stomach x-rays... and you cannot be dashing out of the room (with one hand on the rectum) in the middle of a meeting with staff or counseling with students when nature abruptly calls...

(Apparently, the hospital has introduced a less troublesome and less painful method to visually inspect the stomach whereby a very fine tube/digital camera (5.6 mm thin) is inserted through the nostril... hmmm... maybe next year, I shall try this method...)

The other good thing about the medical check is, the hospital gives you a good lunch box after the check is completed...

And, the union I belong to subsidizes the fees so I pay peanuts for the check...even the lunch box fee is included...

While paying for the fees, the familiar lady at the counter greeted me 'Lrong-san, O-hisashi buri desu ne'... (Lrong-san, long time no see, ya...)

A thought swiftly raced across my mind... now, could she be thinking of the reason for my prolonged absence from the hospital, as in the senior citizens' case?

Naaawww, as yours truly, promptly: 'O-kage sama de, kaze to ka hiite inai desu'... (Thank god, I had not been catching cold lately).

Anyway, just returned from the first successful mission 'ejecting' the Valium...

Aaaaaaah, feels very light... indeed...