Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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doctorSo I’ve been working hard on reducing the stress in my life and find balance in everything. Overall things are moving in a forward direction and progress is being made. With our budget we have a good handle on things financially, socially we continue to enjoy our circle of friends, family-wise the kids are doing great and we are having fun together. I’ve applied the concept of balance to the food I eat and am slowly losing weight, through better time management life at the office is less stressful, and I’ve lessened my TV watching to a much more manageable level. But last weekend I was reminded of one thing I had not paid much attention to.


So Saturday afternoon around 5, I’m sitting on the couch messing around with my laptop when I feel a pain in my back. This is more of a dull pain rather than the sharper muscle-type pain I sometimes get when Piers throws his entire three-year-old body on me if I happen to be on the floor. It does not take long for the pain to intensify to the point that I can’t sit up anymore and there is no position that I can move into that would make me feel better. Amy brings me some ibuprofen but that does not seem to make any difference. The pain ebbs for a little bit but then comes back again even stronger. Now I’m faced with the dilemma that I hate. Should I go to the hospital?


I hate going to the hospital if there turns out there is no need to. It takes forever to finally reach resolution, who knows how much the end result will cost, and I feel foolish if it really is not an emergency. Also, I hate to throw up in the hospital. Why? Because when you say you are going to be sick they always hand you one of those dumb little kidney-shaped bowls. Now I’m sure there are plenty of people with laser-guided vomiting skills, but I’m not one of them. I’m much more of a cluster bomb-type and there is simply no way I can elegantly expunge my stomach’s contents in to this coral covered plastic dish.


Well the pain got so bad that my recently eaten dinner made a return appearance. On the plus side, my main objection to going to the hospital was gone and I knew that what I was currently feeling was not right. We were pretty sure that I had a kidney stone based on my symptoms but I needed some kind of relief now. So Grandma and Grandpa pick up the kids, who are thrilled to be staying the night at their house which means they are subconsciously happy I’m so ill, and off we head to the Urgent Care clinic. We check in and after a while, the doctor confirms that I have a kidney stone. I get a prescription for the pain and amazingly the pain stops while I’m still being examined, before I receive any medication.


I pass the stone late Sunday night without any significant discomfort and am back to my normal self, but the entire episode points out an area in my life that I willfully ignore my health. Generally speaking, I’m a healthy person. I exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, am only slightly overweight, and do the minimum I think is necessary to stay healthy. Well when I was checking in to the clinic I discovered that all of the medical history they had for me was decades out of date. The last time I had seen a doctor was when we moved into our house 12 years ago and I developed a persistent cough. On the one hand it is great that I haven’t needed any medical attention in such a long time, the other hand says I am nearing the age when I need yearly physical check-ups. Soon the cold finger of the doctor will be probing me and words like colonoscopy will become part of my vernacular.


So it is with a heavy heart that I realize I should schedule a physical soon with my primary care physician, a person I’ve only seen twice in thirteen years. They are going to take blood, I’m going to pass out (it’s what I do), I’ll be poked and prodded, and hopefully I’ll be told that things look pretty good. It is not something I’m really psyched about but being proactive now should help stem off any serious complications down the road and since I’m a person of action, it is time to do it.


How about you? When was the last time you had a physical? Perhaps it is time once again to enjoy the feeling of white butcher paper over simulated leather of an exam table?