I Said Doctor, Mr. Md, Can You Tell Me, What’s Ailin’ Me?

Moonlighting did Shakespeare, back in the day. Yes, really.

I’m really sleepy right now. After I finish my 500–1000 words, I’m headed straight to bed, where I will probably fuck around on my phone for an hour before turning off the internet, rolling over, and going to sleep later than I probably should for what time I have to be at work. 

Or as I like to call it, “the usual evening.” 

I got a physical exam from a doctor today. Been worried about several different sets of symptoms and wanted to get a baseline measurement. Blood work and everything. I even got a flu shot! And it cost me nothing out-of-pocket; I have good insurance. I am lucky to have good insurance; that’s not a given in America for people of my class (working class—the class that doesn’t own capital and has to trade labor for our living needs.) 

My family has a saying: “There are two people in your life who gets the whole, unvarnished truth. Your doctor and your lawyer.” And I put that into practice today. I ran down everything physical and mental I have been feeling lately, and he took it all in, processed it with his decades of education and experience, and gave me some simple courses of action. It was probably the most efficient doctor’s visit I have ever had. I liked that.

He calmed my worst fears but didn’t let me neglect some more reasonable concerns. And there’s more to come: the blood tests will come back tomorrow, and there is more about my body, my aging, uncultivated body, to learn. 

I was worried about what I might find out. That’s my inner child, scared of the unknown, with a bright mind that’s been turned up too hot, reacting to shapeless afflictions of what might be. Of course, the Inner Negative Voice is also stoking those fears, making things worse. My anxiety was on high alert today.

My rational brain (and my closest friends) were all quick to remind me that knowing what’s going on is better. It shines a light into the darkness. I can’t address and fix what I don’t know, so I have to know it first. 

In the end, today, my rational brain won because I went in, unloaded all of my worries, and have a plan to deal with it.

I’m not going to post any specifics here. But don’t worry too much, it’s just a list of the common things a 54-year-old man who drinks heavily when he drinks, eats whatever the fuck he wants, and only really exercised for a brief ten year period almost a decade ago, has to face—simple stuff. 

My shoulder is sore from the flu shot and tetanus booster shots. My eyes are closing from the stress and come-down from stress. My stomach is rumbling because I didn’t eat much at all today, for various reasons.

But as my doctor reminded me: I have been healthy all my life, with no surgeries, no illnesses, no conditions. And every concern I have at this moment are things that can be addressed with small lifestyle changes. He suggested I start running again, for instance. He damn near insisted. Regular exercise is good for me (although he sarcastically said that running a marathon is probably “going too far.”) 

I’ve been OK. 

I am OK. 

I’m going to be OK.