Thursday, June 03, 2010

Annual medical check up

Each year around this time, I look forward to going for my annual medical check-up... it is quite fun, actually.
The Japanese have a name for it... 'ningen doc' (literally, human doctor).
Been doing this since 1996, without fail.
The check-up is quite detailed, I must say.

First, no more eating from 9:00 pm the night before the check-up.
No problem for me as I am always getting ready to hit the sack at this hour.
On the day of the check-up, no breakfast... water and clear tea is ok... no milk or sugar...

For the last two years, my wife has been joining me to do this.
We are early birds and for the fun of it, we try to be the first in line.
This time, as in last year, we were number 2 and 3...
Normally, there are about 20 people doing it in a day and the hospital that I go to does this throughout the year.

So there we were... taking our urine samples, having our blood drawn, and our body height, weight, mass, eyesight, and blood pressure checked.
They tested our hearing power on low and high frequencies, and the 'hardness' of our eyeballs...
We had some kind of 'scope' checking on our abdomens, and had electronic cables clipped onto our limbs...
A nurse tested us on our inhaling and exhaling capacities... we had to breath in fully and instantly exhaled the air into a machine... interesting this was...

Chest x-ray was a breeze... but each year, I dreaded the one most horrible liquid or is it solid drink that this year, I made up my mind to avoid it... barium... yaks... This is the stomach test where they have you initially stand, leaning your back against a flat bed... the medical staff then turned you upside down (am I exergerating?), left and right, here and there while commanding you to rotate your body to face up, then down, then left, and then right... and as if this is not enough, you get poked, lightly and slowly though, on your abdomen as tens of x-rays I think, are taken of your stomach.
You then have to excrete out that horrible whitish solid/liquid when you return to your office or home... uuuh, yaks...

This year, I opted for the endoscope test.
Had done this once with the doctor putting in the camera through my mouth.
This year, it was through my left nose.
The thought of it was quite scary.
The nurse dropped some kind of liquid into my nose.

Moments later, morphine... and again, morphine.
I was ready for the camera....
Was asked to lay on my left side... the doctor introduced the camera into my left nose and slowly pushed...
He asked me to swallow once, and twice... did that, and the camera was inside my stomach....

See Part two