Lame Adventure 336: Annual Exams and Future Goals

Recently, I used a half vacation day I had bank-rolled from The Grind on what turned out to be one of the most glorious days of summer in the Big Apple.  It was sunny and warm with low humidity and a welcome breeze.  I felt like I was a in soot-dusted paradise.

Spastically branched tree against clear blue sky.

Unfortunately I had to undergo my annual poking and prodding exam at 10 am.

All aboard and spread ’em.

Of the four women sitting in the waiting room I was the one from the earliest vintage.  In fact, I was the lone dried fruit.  I brought my own reading material, a copy of The New Yorker, since I have no interest in magazines about starting a family or raising children.  Opposite a sign that requests patients to silence their cell phones a woman in her twenties sat obliviously playing a game on her Android that emitted a steady stream of shrill whistles and pops. I tuned her out and proceeded to read a short story written by Alice Munro, Amundsen.  It seems that every year I’m due for this exam The New Yorker publishes one of her exquisitely crafted tales set in Canada, Munro’s homeland.  I no longer need to keep a note in my calendar about when to schedule this appointment.  The telltale reminder will be the publication of yet another bleak yarn authored by Munro.

My concentration was destroyed by a loud, high-pitched child’s voice in the distance repeatedly screaming, “Hi!”  The voice comes closer and the culprit, a rambunctious toddler sporting a head of tight red curls, enters with his entourage — his massively pregnant mother (who makes a mad dash for the bathroom), his father, grandmother and stroller the size of a Smart car.  They must have forgotten to pack the dog, cat, hamster, parrot and goldfish.  In his left hand the tot is holding a toy airplane.  The index finger on his right hand is digging so deep in a nostril I half expect it to wriggle out an ear.  His voice is raspy and I ascertain that he must be recovering from a cold.  He and his posse are on the far side of the waiting room. I say a silent prayer:  stay there Little Germ Factory.

A genius invention.

Even though I arrived fourth, the nurse appears and announces my name first. I reason that this is because I’m essentially dead inside so examining my internal ashes can be completed at warp-speed. If any of the others object that I’ve been elevated to the top of the pecking order, they don’t show it.  I’m so small and quiet, it’s possible that they have mistaken me for an end table.

While waiting for my doctor I photograph the replica Monet on the wall.

Examination room wall art inspired by a funeral home.

I am infinitely more intrigued with the pain intensity scale that’s decorated with emoticons in various stages of pleasure, stress and agony a.k.a. my life story in four words.

No ones laughing out loud in this group.

If I had designed that chart I would have shown the tortured emoticons with their mouths agape screaming silently for the entire neighborhood to not hear.

When my doctor arrives to give me the professional finger I have put my camera away.  We chat briefly.  She asks me the usual questions that prompt the usual lies concluding with:

My Doctor:  Do you exercise?

Me: Yes.

My Doctor:  Really?  You’ve gained weight.  Two pounds.

Me:  I’m sure my metabolism has slowed.

My Doctor: Eat healthier.  Exercise.

Me:  I actually eat very healthy – fruit, vegetables, fish [inaudible muttering] all that sort of boring thing.

My Doctor:  Cut back on the carbs.  Really exercise.  Okay?

I don’t argue.  As I dress to leave I know that she’s right.  Over the course of the next year, not only will I shed the two pounds I’ve so gluttonously gained, I will lose three more.  Yes, I am going to shed two and a half times the pounds I’ve gained over the course of the next 365 days.  Therefore, when I return a year hence, demarcated by The New Yorker publishing yet another downbeat tale quilled by Alice Munro, I will be lean as a whippet.  Losing five pounds is attainable.

See you next year!

On my brisk walk home (this counts as exercise), I’m feeling determined.  Goals are good things.  I will kick-start the new leaner me by going to my grocer’s where I purchase four yogurts.

The Fage yogurt quartet

Then, I eat this.

Fat soloist fresh blueberry scone.

I’ll wrestle this beast of a goal starting tomorrow.

108 responses to “Lame Adventure 336: Annual Exams and Future Goals

  1. it’s all about moderation, sugar! 2 yogurts would have been enough! ;~) good luck! xoxoxo


  2. So, you’re abstanining, but avoiding the diet itself instead of the food. Way to go, my friend. One of my blogging buddies made a snarky comment in her post about competetive cake eating. You might consider competitive muffin munching. Wait, that didn’t come out right. Oh, well you KNOW what I mean!


  3. Fage Yogurt GOOD.
    You are of prime vintage, m’dear.
    Finally, then i must plug in the caffeine drip, I worked with a woman once who called gyno appointments ‘getting your picture taken.’
    Yep, I don’t know either.


    • Better than having your ob-gyn refer to her/him self as a spelunker. Admittedly I have little to offer on the subject so I will probably just stop here.


      • I once had a male gyno, a nice little jewish man. When I told my mom–who was Ouiser Boudreaux before it was cool — she didn’t even flinch: “Hey, when they’ve seen one, they’ve seen ’em all, dear. Yours ain’t that special.”


        • My mom was a confidence builder, too.


        • Your mom was certainly a wise woman. I’d once thought that a career as a (to use the words of Archie Bunker) groinacologist might be interesting. But a lack of aptitude for the sciences as well as the fear that dealing with women’s reproductive organs on a daily basis might have a dulling effect on my fascination with female nether regions caused me to steer my life in a different direction.


    • Some questions are best not asked Jules, but thanks for sharing buddy!


  4. That scone looks awesome – and a good reward after the brisk walk home. Also glad the germ factory stayed on his side of the waiting room.


  5. “Lean as a whippet” is causing me to have eruptions of giggles. I can’t stop. My gyno tacks things up on the ceiling. I suppose playing cards and cheesy Florida magnets are supposed to distract me from the fact that he’s rooting around in my nether regions.


  6. My doctor had a poster on the ceiling above the table that said, “Swallow a live toad every morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day.” Consequently, I always refer to my annual exam as swallowing a toad.


  7. “I reason that this is because I’m essentially dead inside so examining my internal ashes can be completed at warp-speed. If any of the others object that I’ve been elevated to the top of the pecking order, they don’t show it. I’m so small and quiet, it’s possible that they have mistaken me for an end table.”
    Only one of the forty or some kick-ass things you said in this (and every) post.
    Also, my doctor recently told me I have fantastic hips for child-bearing. I think I’d rather have received the come-to-Jesus “You’re two-pounds fat” lecture.


    • Hilarious Hannah! I was so determined to stay on message (lying my ass off about exercising) I did not fly off the handle about the absurdity of gaining two pounds! Thanks for visiting buddy.


  8. Doesn’t chewing burn calories? If not, I’ve been exercising so wrong for the past few years…


  9. Smartly written, as always, LA. Prime vintage, indeed. I had such a New Yorker reading experience the last time I was at the doctor’s office. I think the person was actually TALKING on her cell phone, though. And then there was the New Yorker-reading-in-the-library experience (during a gap in my subscription) while the librarian was yelling across the room to a patron.


  10. I love those posters with faces that tell you how to describe your pain level, as if we’re now all in preschool again and need pictures to assist us. It continued all throughout my laboring; at some point they brought that stupid picture out and when I was at the highest end of the pain spectrum (ie, the picture of Linda Blair jabbing a crucifix into her lady bits) I got the epidural.


    • I am not a sadistic person, but your comment made me laugh. You had me at Linda Blair. In one of her comedy routines, Lily Tomlin would simulate giving birth and then declare, “What a time to be off drugs!”


  11. At one of my doctor visit–not my ladybits doc, but the regular one–he said i needed to lose some poundage. This was 8 months after giving birth so I felt completely appropriate pounding on his ball sack with the examining table. Two pounds? posh–that’s nothing. You pee and you’re at least a pound down. You can also lose the weight by lobbing things at the person who told you to do so because that noise needs to be shut down.


    • I think she was angling for a way to make me exercise again (she knew I was ylying through my teeth) so she threw those two pounds in my face. If she thought like a blogger, she would have said, “You could live another 30 years — you’re on the road to being 60 pounds heavier. Just throwing that out there.”

      I hope your doctor’s ball sack is on the mend following that miscommunication between you two.


  12. Lameadventures, you are telling my story today! Two pounds, schmounds. The muffin can be counteracted in many ways,as I always tell myself.


  13. She gave you the hairy eyeball cause you gained 2 pounds???? Crimony she would have had me hung at dawn!


  14. That is so funny! I went to my gyno once and the nurse said the same thing like it was 50 pounds. “Whoa! You gained 2 pounds!”
    Love this. You should bring it to the blog party!


  15. I go to the doctor next Friday. I will lie but will excuse my fatness by saying my sisters and I have just started Weight Watchers which we will have by then so I will drink and eat and smoke everything I can before then!

    I love Gazoo in your masthead, have I already said that?


    • I’m not sure if you did throw a little love Gazoo’s way, but I’m sure that he’d appreciate it since he seems to be so underappreciated. I would welcome a Gazoo revival. Your excuse about your weight sounds like a plan that will work provided you don’t have to look anyone in the eye.


  16. Rece Davis, announcing Vanderbilt v South Carolina game just said “it behooved Vanderbilt…”


  17. Was that over the line?


  18. Just making sure.


  19. You are so funny. Your doctor actually gave you grief for 2 lousy pounds? I gained over 40 and my doctor wasn’t even that tough (I’ve lost most of that btw). I hate exercise. Ick. I’d rather develop an eating disorder and hurl after each meal.


  20. One of the good things about being 65 and “womb-less” for the last 15 years is I now no longer have to endure the dreaded pelvic exam. As Gertrude Stein said about searching for her childhood home, “There is no there there.”


    • I always thought Gertrude said that in reference to Oakland, California, but in this context it works well, too.


      • You’re right, but here’s a further possible explanation of what she meant:

        “Her family then moved to a home near today’s 13th Avenue and East 25th Avenue. She lived in Oakland until 1891, and left at age 17 for Baltimore, after her parents passed away. Oakland was a much smaller town then, with a population of just under 35,000 in 1880.

        Nearly 45 years later, Stein returned to Oakland on a lecture tour in 1935. By that time, the city had grown nearly 10 times to over 300,000 residents. When she tried to find her childhood home, it was no longer there. When she published Everybody’s Autobiography two years later, saying there was “no there there,” it was an expression of “painful nostalgia” about her home being gone and the land around it being completely changed. The house where she grew up was on a sprawling 10-acre plot surrounded by orchards and farms. By 1935, it had been replaced by dozens of houses. Oakland held a special significance to her, and on her return, she found that Oakland had urbanized and changed from the pastoral place she remembered.

        Gertrude Stein writes in her autobiographical novel, The Making of Americans, about her childhood in Oakland, where a child “could have all anybody could want of joyous sweating, of rain and wind, of hunting, of cows and dogs and horses, of chopping wood, of making hay, of dreaming, of lying in a hollow all warm with the sun shining while the wind was howling.” She won her first literary award as a student at Franklin School in Oakland for a piece she wrote about the sun “setting in a cavern of clouds.” Returning to her home decades later to find it gone and to find Oakland no longer a place “of chopping wood, of making hay” struck her, and she wrote her famous “no there there” quote in response.”

        For the whole article (including some great old photos of Oakland) go here:


  21. Snoring Dog Studio

    Those scales in the doc’s office are rigged! Besides, having to go through that procedure puts pounds of worry and stress on you – humiliation weight is easy enough to get rid of, though. I treat it with a scone, too!


  22. Your comment to George was measured and polite. Mine was a big fat WTF??!??!


  23. A visit to the OBGYN is one of those magical rites of femininity that alas, I will never be able to experience. I can, however, live vicariously through you. Childbirth is another.

    At least your appointment was in the morning and you were taken early. I hope that you got to enjoy the rest of your day off without feeling two guilty about the two pounds.

    Seriously–two pounds? Unless you are 4’3″ or shorter (in which case I’d advise gaining height rather than losing weight), I’m not sure that two pounds is something to fret over. Moreover, based on some full-length pictures you posted for another post, you appear to be very proportionately sized. And for an American, you’re practically emaciated!

    And does ANYBODY like magazines about parenting or starting a family? I am a parent (who, by definition started a family) and I have NO desire to read that crap.


    • Can I get an “Amen” to ditching the parenting magazines? I don’t need strangers to tell me I am doing a lousy job of parenting. I have 2 daughters aged 16 and 17 who can covey those sentiments. And they have learned to do so without even uttering a word. Most efficient I dare say.


    • I ALWAYS try to schedule any appointment where my getting weighed is part of the process EARLY after having eaten a starvation diet dinner the night before and before I’ve eaten breakfast. As I write this reply to you, Smak, I’m stuffing myself with a rather tasty hot corned beef sandwich on a roll with a bag of chips. If I were weighed after this meal, those two pounds I’ve gained will have likely tripled.

      I’ve noticed some mothers-to-be actually reading those magazines. I’d sooner read my watch.


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