My At Home Physical

It’s time to renew my life insurance.  Gotta have it, but there is nothing fun about the process.

I have a physical every single year where they poke and prod me, why, why is it necessary for the insurance company to repeat the process?  I sign a form releasing my medical records to them.  But they insist on coming to my house to inflict more pain.

Last week, a little old lady strolled up my driveway at 9 AM.  She works for a company that makes house calls.  It’s like Grub Hub but for bodily fluids.

The woman told me she was a retired nurse and took this on as a part time job just for fun.  She had white hair and a suitcase full of syringes and vials.  She asked me six hundred questions, that I’d already answered online, and then asked if I wanted to pee first or have my blood drawn.

I freak out at the sight of needles, and blood, so I chose to get that out of the way. 

“Can you please take it from my hand?  My arm veins like needles less than the rest of me.”

Phlebotomists don’t like hands. 

“It’ll hurt worse that way,” she scolded.

“I’ve been told that before.  But the idea of a hunking piece of medal shoved up the crease of my arm makes me pass out so the hand it will be.”

“Suit yourself.”

I turned on the TV for a distraction.

It didn’t hurt.  It never does.  It’s just the thought of it.  Blood is supposed to be INSIDE you.  Just like your spleen.  I don’t want to see it.

She then gave me a cup and told me to fill it.  At the doctor, you pee in a small container and leave it in a little metal cabinet where it magically disappears.  I had to bring this one back out and hand it to her like I was serving a cup of tea.

“Would you like a sugar cub or dash of cream?”

She didn’t finish it.  I had to pour the leftovers back down the toilet.  I felt like she’d seen a very private part of me.

My home nurse then informed me she had to perform an EKG and told me to remove my shirt.  She lay me on the couch.  Sadly, that day I’d hire men to replace a significant portion of my roof.  As she stood over me, her hands on my bare chest, out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the roofers walk by my back windows.  We made eye contact.  He quickly walked away.

I could only imagine what he was thinking.  I’m grateful she didn’t check my prostate. 

Me and my HSA

It’s the end of my insurance plan year.  Three years ago, I signed up for a Health Savings Account.  This nifty new tool costs significantly less per month which is a good thing.  However, unless you have open heart surgery or gangrene in your gall bladder, you likely won’t hit your deductible.  I pay the first $4,000 in medical expenses out of pocket.  After that, my insurance company pays 100% of costs I incur.

Thankfully, this was the first year on the new plan that I met my deductible.  After Stephanie had her tonsils removed in June, we were golden.  The past three months I’ve been searching for a reason to go to the doctor.

“Dad, my left toe hurts.”

“I’ll book an appointment with the podiatrist tomorrow.”

“Is this a freckle or a mole?”

“We’ll let the dermatologist make that call.”

“I’ve got a really bad tooth ache dad.  Can I go to the dentist?”

“No!  That’s a different insurance company.  Take a shot of whiskey and bite down on a twig.”

I don’t understand insurance, and I don’t understand the medical profession.  Last year at my annual physical, my doctor asked me if I wanted him to check my prostate.

How do you answer that question?

“Absolutely!  I’ve been waiting for that all year-long!  And while you’re at it, could you give me a spinal tap?”

What guy is going to answer that in the affirmative?

“Well,” I started, stalling for a moment as I pondered my choice.  “On the one hand, I would trade my P90X video series to avoid that investigative procedure.  On the other, I would prefer not to have cancer in that area.  What are most of your other patients choosing?”

We ended up agreeing that I’d be checked at age 50, and the tension in the room decreased tenfold.

Oh, and the last doctor I visited on my multi-month journey chasing free healthcare, had a nurse who gravely insulted me.

She called me from the waiting room, took my height and weighed me.  She then walked me into the examining room, pulled out the blood pressure cup and headed toward my arm.

“Mr. Tanner, can you roll your sleeve up a bit?”

“Sure.”  I thought she could take it with my dress shirt sleeve down.

When I unleashed my right gun, she turned around and huffed, “Uh.”

“Is something the matter?”

“It’s smaller than I thought.  I need to get the little cuff.”

“My arm?”

She nodded.

“Ma’am, it’s not that small!” I insisted.

“It’s whole a lot smaller than it looked under that big ole sleeve of yours.”

As a general rule, it is better not to suggest that any man’s part is smaller than anticipated – especially his bicep!

So this week I’m back on a healthcare diet.  And after my experiences this year, perhaps that’s not a bad thing.

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