Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tests, Tests, and More Tests!

It seems that as I've grown older, my spring ritual has included going for all sorts of tests and medical examinations, even when I'm not sick. I no longer have the youthful outlook that nothing will go wrong; I'm always expecting something.

For the last few weeks, I've had appointments with my heaaring aid specialist, my dentist, my internist, and my opthalmologist. I had to make a special trip to have blood drawn, as ordered by my doctor. She also ordererd a stress test, the chemical kind, since I can't necessarily walk on a treadmill long enough and fast enough for the desired result. That is not fun; I've had such a test before, and it requires shots of chemicals, probably dangerous ones, and much waiting.

First, I had a tooth extracted, but since it was in the back of my mouth, I figured I didn't need it. It took a while to recover from the extraction. Now my dentist will want to put in an implant to replace the tooth, but I see no need for that. We'll see. My next visit is coming up.

My new hearing aids seem to be working as well as possible (no hearing aids give perfect hearing), so that was a quick visit. I got new transparent plastic "wires," the ones that go into my ears. So far, so good.

The doctor visit and blood tests didn't turn up anything especially frightening. My cholesteral is up, so I need to take a statin medicine again. My blood pressure was within reason, but the medication may be making me tired, so I'm trying a new one. Now I have to have my blood pressure checked again, but fortunately, I can do that here at The Clare. I got new prescriptions for all six of my meds, so I'm set for another year. I sometimes think it's crazy to take so many, but when I stop one, odd things seem to happen, like the new shoulder pains when I tried stopping Celebrex. Oh, well.

I passed the stress test. The doctors always get a bit uneasy because I have a slightly irregular heartbeat, but so did my mother, and she lived to age 95.

The worst news from a financial standpoint is from the opthalmologist: I need new eyeglasses. Granted, mine are quite old, but they've served me well. Buying three new pair of progressive bifocals (one regular, one spare, one prescrription sunglasses) costs an arm and a leg, even though I don't go for the premiere designer frames. I still haven't filled the new glasses prescription, but I probably will do so next week.

Now I have nothing to worry about until the bills come in: the yearly Medicare deductible will apply. I'm always tempted to skip these yearly tests, but I guess I'm brainwashed by the medical community. I hope that if I do get some dread disease, it will be discovered early and be curable, but then I remember an acquaintance who did fine on his stress test and died of a sudden heart attack soon thereafter. He wasn't even old.

So now I'm all tested and medicated and hoping for a healthy year. But who knows what is in store for me? Getting old is not for the weak.

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