It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.


For old people like me, my company generously pays a full medical check-up during working hours. That’s done every two years and today I was in for the second of those since I’ve moved to Singapore.

I knew the drill: no food for 12 hours before the examinations, willingly offer body fluids, have a chest X-ray, have an ultrasound, check heart and height and vision and whatever else is needed. Just sign the forms and spend four quality hours with your friends from Healthway Medical.

Oh: and bring a little something from home, of course.

Yes, I am talking about poop. Just in case you wondered. And I know you did. I mean, what else would you bring from home? Bake a cake for the good doctor? No, no, no – it’s all about scratching the fruits of hard morning work from your toilet bowl or your toilet paper and stuff it into a test tube. For everybody to see, of course: it’s not that you have a chance to pass on this tube in a dignified way, once you are at the place. First, they asked me to pee in a pre-labeled cup and to put the result of my labor in plastic box #6. But the stool sample that is nicely visible on that ingenious shovel that connects to the cap of the tube only gets a label after you handed it over, nicely across the counter. I tell you, shit’s happening here. What a job: taking the poop of dozens of people every day and wrapping self-adhesive paper around it. Nice!
Once the label was on, I was also allowed to drop this one also into plastic box #6.

With this done, more bodily fluids were extracted. Last time the girl had virtually punched holes into my arm until I looked like an Emmental cheese, but this was not the problem today. So the nurse got the syringe, she had the containers and was about to get the juice. The active hand was in a glove already. Hm – not that I really care so much, but experience with the sloppy work of the nurses at Oskar’s pediatrician made me ask:

Leo: I see you have a glove on already.
Nurse: Hmhm.
Leo: Did you change it just now?
Nurse: Hmhm.
Leo: Can I see it?

Oops, somebody got pissed.
She angrily threw away the syringe and snapped at me:

Nurse: Anything else you need?!
Leo: Nope, let’s see the glove…

I only felt a little bad for an instance, because now she was searching for gloves. She did not have any box readily standing around. Now, I know it is totally possible that she had finished a box just before I came. But come on: how likely is this? That bitch had simply lied to me!
At least she knew how to take a blood sample without making my arm look like that of a drug addict. And I guess it speaks to her that she was not in a revenge mode to do so, because my smug expression would likely have motivated a lesser person to take a bigger syringe and drive it into my eye.

After this I had my chest X-ray done and then the abdominal ultrasound. Funny: it’s always the ladies at the ultrasound who are the nicest. Just as last time, she discovered gall bladder polyps of which I seem to host quite a few, but at their current size there’s nothing to worry about.
I had my height checked – and it’s still 193 cm… last time they’ve measured 194 cm, but of course I knew this was rubbish all along (tiny Asian girl trying to read the numbers which are a meter above her head – how can this go well?). They also checked weight (naturally I showed off my weight chart) and they did an electrocardiogram.

Then it was time for my doctor’s talk.
It was a different doctor this time, a lady, and there were two unexpected things happening.

Unexpected thing number 1:
The doctor looked at all the data collected so far, got to the ECG and said with a factual tone of being impressed:

Doctor: Hm, you are quite fit! How often are you working out?

“You are quite fit”!
Wow, awesome – this is the first time a doctor made that comment.
After this absolutely justified marveling over my tip-top shape, the mood in the room changed a little when she said…

Unexpected thing number 2:

Doctor: Alright. Are you ready for your anal check?
Leo: Sure… erg… what?!
Doctor: We should do an anal check. Pull down your pants…

Hum – we did not do this last time, so this was… surprising. And I’d rather talk more about how fit I am, but as I slowly obeyed she hit me with an additional bonus suggestion:

Doctor: If you want we can check your testicles, too.
Leo: Hey, lady! Is this your way of flirting?!

Okay, I did not say that.
But I also said (analogously) that putting her finger up my ass is enough for the day. At least I do know now that my prostate is fine, too.

The final check was then walking at different speeds on the treadmill with lots of little electrodes stuck to different places on my upper body. A radio is playing in that room, and it plays the lamest music from the 80s you can imagine. Just when I wanted to ask the nurse (same as the I-don’t-need-no-gloves blood sucker) to turn that shit down so I can listen to my podcasts, she said:

Nurse: Nice music, eh?

And the song playing was – I kid you not! – Brother Louie from Modern Talking.

Leo: Hum, you know what? I’ll listen to my own stuff, if this is okay…

The two of us just wouldn’t see eye to eye today.
Everything went well on the treadmill, I stayed on much longer than last time and even had to run before my pulse hit 150 bpm.

With this I was done and I only had to go to another place for my eye check.
I’ve recently had the impression that my sight was blurry at times and I was curious whether I would be able to read the test charts like I used to this time. It turns out that my right eye has perfect sight, but the astigmatism on my left eye for some reason seems to be more prevalent now than it used to be (the Lasik does not fix this). And this is the reason for the blurry vision I seem to have at least once in a while. The optician said this was only a minor error and given I could read all the lines on the test chart and was also able to read small printed text in a book, there was no need to correct anything.

This reminds me of a story Bernhard told a few years ago, where he made a comment on his vision to his eye doctor and the guy basically said this comes with age and get over it.

So, there.

Looks like I am all good here, am “quite fit” and had a finger up my ass.
What else can a guy want for a successful day?

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