Opinion: Diagnosis? Aging
I’ve just returned from three annual check-ups for various body parts that should have been as simple as “Hey! You look great! Anything new? Okay, see ya next year.” But alas, not one went as planned. The general consensus seems to be that I’m getting old, and there’s not a darn thing I (or they) can do about it. Boo!
First up, the endocrinologist, who monitors my stupid malfunctioning thyroid gland. Normally we have a nice chat, catch up on our kids, and then she sends in her henchman to draw my blood. But this year, because I offhandedly mentioned I’ve been simultaneously having hot flashes and gaining weight, two conflicting symptoms in the world of glandular disease, she launched into all the wonderful experiences that await me as menopause approaches. Noooo! I don’t want to keep my house set at 59 degrees year round to combat night sweats, nor do I care to pack on midsection pounds despite a diet of iceberg lettuce. She couldn’t even offer advice. “Oh it’s gonna happen,” was her comment. Good times.
Straight from her I headed over to the breast center for the dreaded mammogram. And lucky for me, they’d purchased new machines, which twist and squeeze even more intensely than the old ones. Afterwards, I caught a glimpse of my topless self in the dressing room mirror: I looked like I’d been hit multiple times with a two-by-four. Bright red areas marred my pale, ginger-day-walker skin, indicating the exact places where I’d been mauled. Turns out, big girls do cry!
Finally, I saw the dermatologist to have her check a spot that keeps returning despite two uncomfortable freezes with liquid nitrogen. Her best guess? Either pre or actual cancer. Not melanoma, she assured me, but she did go ahead and biopsy it. I’m currently awaiting the pathology report while sporting two stitches and a fat, bruised bottom lip. (But you should see the other guy!)
Seriously though, this aging process is rough, and I still have the ob/gyn and dentist on the calendar. I’m really starting to hate annual check-ups!