Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 1802

I had my annual physical today. As usual, the exam consisted of long waits in various rooms, followed by a much shorter visit with the doctor. I think doctors call their customers "patients" because you have to be very patient to deal with all the waiting. My doctor loves blood tests. Every year, he comes up with half a dozen new things to test me for. Years ago, the technicians only drew one vial of blood for lab work. Now they routinely draw seven or eight vials. It is pretty amazing how much information about your health can be gleaned from a sample of blood. Now, in addition to the usual tests for PSA, glucose, cholesterol, and liver enzyme levels, my lab work includes a variety of genetic RNA markers to determine if I am predisposed to develop certain diseases. Here's the weird thing. My copy of today's lab work was 12 pages long, but I still don't know my own blood type. Doctors never bother to order the simple blood type test anymore, because unless you are in the ER and need a transfusion, they don't need this information. I've meant to ask one of my doctors what my blood type is, but while I am actually in the exam room, I always forget.

For the past several years I've been telling my doctor that I don't want a flu shot and then end up getting one anyway. "Nobody ever died from getting a flu shot," my doctor told me today. OK. Go ahead and give me one. It's really futile trying to argue with doctors. Flu shots aren't a big deal anyway. At least my lab work was good. The only thing I need to keep an eye on is my blood sugar.  I'm not a diabetic, but I could easily become one if I'm not careful. My glucose and a1c levels were a little higher than last year. They were still in the normal range, but headed in the wrong direction. I think these levels were better last year because I had given up sugar and eating bread almost entirely. Eventually, my sweet tooth got the better of me and I went back to having dessert with my evening meals. It looks like I'm going to have to curtail desserts again.

When I was having breakfast this morning, the sky was very grey and the restaurant was playing sad country songs instead of the usual Austin hipster music. For some reason this moody ambiance brought back memories of ancient road trips. You'd never know it now, but before I had dogs or responsibilities, a long straight road and a hearty meal at a roadside diner that I would never see again was my idea of fun. The destination was never that important, but I would often drive 800 miles in a day. I've driven through virtually all the Western states, but never had much desire to point the car in an easterly direction. For just a moment this morning I imagined my favorite restaurant was a roadside diner in Wyoming. The moment didn't last long. By 10AM I was back at my desk writing ridiculous advertising messages.

Dot stumbled and fell on her walk today and Dash had an upset stomach and frantically wanted to eat grass for a while. Both dogs recovered quickly, but I still worry about them a lot. My job is to keep them both safe and healthy. Everything else I do is basically just to kill time. It's a good thing my doctor never takes my blood pressure when I'm having a dog crisis. Lord knows what he'd try to prescribe for me then.

Chelsey is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day