As I took my truck in to get it serviced the other day, I was grateful that it was still in such great shape, and everything was working so wonderfully. However, it still needed maintenance, and its regular check-up.
How much like a vehicle we are. Most of us are born with a reasonably healthy body and the latest technology to help that body function. (liver, kidneys, stomach, glands and other organs) OK, here is where the analogy breaks down. Vehicles have ever improving technology built on board, whereas, our bodies have amazing technology that has been around forever and it never changes. Back to the metaphor.
My truck needs regular fuel-up and oil changes and we could call that proper nutrition. As the vehicle ages, new brakes, a muffler, some gaskets or filters, together with belts and hoses will need replacing. Fluids are vital to proper functioning, as are our bodies. But, as more time goes by, what happens are what we call major breakdowns which translate to expensive repairs or maybe scrapping of the vehicle or at least trading it in for a newer model.
These thoughts were going through my head as I marched from one doctor to another, the x-ray clinic to the blood clinic, and the eye doctor to the allergist. I have reached my 'best before date' and some semi-major maintenance and repair is required. As wonderful as the human body is, it does wear out. We can neglect or ignore the signs of a breakdown, or we can be preventative or proactive when there are danger signals. If we are not, a catastrophic event could be in our future.
Apart from the usual blood work that is requested with a physical check-up, I also went to the clinic armed with a requisition for an x-ray to determine the extent of wear and tear on one of my knees. The two clinics are in the same building so I got the imaging done first. The bio-medical lab, where they take the blood sample, was just upstairs, so I took a number and prepared myself for a 45 minute wait. I was 10 minutes away when I began to read the requisition for the blood work. What I did not realise, or perhaps had forgotten, was that one of the tests was a glucose test, meaning that I was required to fast for at least 10 hours before giving a blood sample. The waiting room is very crowded and there is nothing to do but observe other people and see how slowly the numbers are coming up. So how do I exit gracefully, or in such a way as to save face?
I began looking at my watch frequently, while checking the electronic number read-out on the wall. I began to look and act impatient, and finally in a huff, got up and walked out. Why did I do that? I suppose I did not want anyone to see that my mental faculties are also wearing out. We get very creative when we are covering up for our deficiencies.
This morning (after my fast), I was checking in at the counter of a different blood clinic (there is that effort to creatively cover-up again) and was asked if I wanted to register with the service and receive my test results on-line. "Yes", say I, and after being told that I could register at the .com address on the form, I told her she would need my e-mail address. Duh! These clinics are frequented by mostly middle and old aged folks so she did not miss a beat. She probably thought, "Oh boy, another one."