The first week of January always brings up my annual physical and this year did not disappoint. I headed in at 8 am on January 6th after fasting for 12 hours so I could have blood drawn, pee in a cup and have the once over by the Doc.
There was a new twist this year that I've got to mention. After the nurse weighed me, took my temperature, took me back to one of the rooms to check my blood pressure and heart rate she asked me if I would mind if a third year medical student attended my physical with my GP. I said it was fine. So in walks a 5' Asian young woman who started the physical on her own. She checked my ears, nose, throat, listened to my chest, checked my lymph nodes and in walked my GP (who is a great guy and probably the best Doc I've had to date).
He took over and did the same thing that she had done and then we moved to the fun part. He sat in the chair, had me stand up and drop my trousers and drawers for the old turn your head and cough routine. Then, down sat the young female med student and we did the turn your head and cough routine again. She did fine and checked for lumps very gingerly. Then my Doc says, here's the fun part Bruce. Bend over and smile. So I obliged and he put on his rubber gloves, greased 'em up and checked the old Mr. Walnut (prostate). Then came the second round as the young female med student put her gloves on, greased up and.....and.....and....and...
She couldn't couldn't find the entrance to the park! My Doc says, "spread 'em, and reach in there and feel." She kept trying to get in and finally I turn to her and say, "Hon, you're about 2 inches too high. The gate is a little bit lower than where you are currently poking." Okay, so she's nervous and finally after feeling around she's in. Then my Doc says, "No. You have to turn your finger over in the other direction to feel properly." So, rotation inside my inner regions is felt and her little fingers grapple around trying to feel Mr. Walnut. Finally she emerges and my Doc commends me on being such a good sport while he hands me a box of Kleenex to clean up the party.
I wiped, tucked my shirt in, hitched up my pants and belt and then visited with the Doc about my health. He said Mr. Walnut is actually quite small - so that's good news and always really one of the main reasons guys over 40 head in for their annual exam in the first place. We checked my left shoulder which I thought surely had a torn rotator cuff the way it was clicking and feeling. Nope. Not the rotator cuff at all after a series of physical therapy tests/moves. It was tendonitis. Told me to take Aleve before lifting weights and then ice immediately afterward. The "clicking" was the swollen tendons passing over each other when I would extend my arm out and reach for something. That was all good news to me in case I want to play any golf this summer.
Everything else checked out fine and now I move on to phase two for my annual tests up at the Iowa Heart Clinic. I'm a regular there (every 6 months) after we found a little blockage in one of my 4 arteries back in 2007 in the heart via the calcium scan. I had been complaining of chest pain for 2 years until I finally got somebody to believe me and run some tests. Sure enough, I had a little blockage in one of the main 4 pipes. Nothing major, but enough to register in the scan. This scan, by the way, is not covered by insurance and runs about $99 - $110 each visit. However, I gladly pay as I want to know what I'm dealing here with my genetics being what they are. I'm due for another scan and treadmill test this year and will see if my altered eating and regimen has kept the blockage at bay and if my cholesterol #'s have improved since my last visit this summer. My "bad" cholesterol #'s have always been nice and low, but the "good" cholesterol #'s were in need of a tad bit of raising. I'm hoping I hit my #'s this time. I like my Doc up there as well since he is exactly my age and went to med school in Austria, married a gal from lower Austria and still keeps a home over there. We speak the entire checkup to each other in German.
In the meantime, I am just finishing up week one of the endurance/base building phase. Outside of my one trip out on the bike where I met my fate with some ice, all riding has been in the basement on the C7i with my music cranked up on the Bose. It's nice to be burning the calories again. I've dropped 3 pounds in week one and am being very careful not to overeat or lose too much weight. Sweets are out and pie season is over. Rats!!! I think ideal would be 2 pounds of weight loss per week for the month to get back to racing weight, but we'll see where I end up. I didn't gain as much weight this year during the weight lifting phases as last year in spite of lifting more weight this year (which was based on my maximum rep tests to set my weights). I also didn't eat everything in sight this time around so kept the weight gain at bay. It's hard not to eat a lot since the weight lifting phases are right during the prime holiday eating season. And the endurance phase burns so many calories, it is difficult not to grab whatever is within reach to eat I am so hungry. But, I'm sticking to my plan.