Tuesday, December 15, 2009


At my age, I’m supposed to go to the doctor for regular health check-ups, where the physician palpates and pokes me here and there and draws blood and other fluids to make sure I’m not dying of some rare disease that can only be cured by surgically removing my savings account and most of any retirement plans I’ve set up so far.

While I’m sure doing so would have improve the health of Dr. Heidi Powell’s bank balance, I’m disinclined to subject myself to such ministrations; I can’t see the point on two grounds: first, why go to the doctor when I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and second, why go when the only possible outcome would be to find out about something I have no desire to know about anyway?

Ignorance may not be bliss, exactly, but it’s certainly more enjoyable than lying in bed staring at the ceiling all night long worrying about the test results.

I don’t mind going to the dentist for a check-up, because there, I get a teeth cleaning in the process. The doctor, by contrast, is not going to soap me up and rub me with a loofa, so what’s the point? Maybe if she’d consent to going over me with a pressure washer, I’d be game, but only if the water were scented with mint.

One of the good things about having a regular physical practice—be it yoga or bike-riding or even power-napping in the afternoon—is that you get to see pretty quickly to degree to which you’re falling apart. And so, while it’s obvious to me that I’m no longer in the physical shape I was when I was a young man of just 50, I can tell that I’m not really dying, even though the after effects of last night’s holiday party at Bill’s Off-Broadway are making me feel a bit of like death warmed over, and I don’t need a doctor to tell me that.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

My boss & her husband talk about research that should be published in the journal Duh (or No, duuuhh, as we used to say when we were kids), and one such bit is a factoid from the local newspaper, that some huge percentage of people who die in the 80s actually had an undiagnosed cancer - but that's not what killed them. You're right, ignorance is bliss.

7:42 AM  

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