Thursday, June 11, 2015

      

                                             From Doctors to Daughters


     I hate going to the doctor’s. Many of my friends and acquaintances spend considerable time in doctor’s offices, and they are there for legitimate reasons. They have a healthy view of their self-care; most aren’t hung up on prevention like me. 

     Twenty years ago, I had a preventive procedure that led to a week in the hospital, a blood transfusion to save my life and the disappearance of my buttocks from lying in bed. One of those side effects was good (at that time), the others not so much. So when my doctor advised me yesterday to get two preventive shots, I said, “Nope, not doing that.” I also got the flu shot a few years ago and was down for a week as a result. I don’t care who tells me that it was a coincidence; I’m not buying it. Au contraire, after the nice doc related some stories about people who had the diseases he wanted me to avoid, I am thinking twice about getting the pokes.

     At a certain age, conversation topics shift from the latest trip and world affairs to “what’s wrong with me now.” I’m sorry, but when I’m at a social gathering, the last thing I want to hear is someone’s blood pressure stats or their cholesterol medication side effects. Let’s talk about something more pleasant like escaped convicts or police brutality. 

     When I got to the doc’s office yesterday for my yearly checkup, I was given a little book giving me instructions on how to handle my demise. wtf. They spiced it up by asking me to list five things on my bucket list on page one. I didn’t even know what a bucket list was until ten years ago, and I remember thinking at the time, “That’s for old people.” Maybe it’s my denial about aging that irritates me so much about all this, but come on, folks. Do we really want to think about how many years we have left to party before we check in to Sun City? Leave me alone. Just let me live my life without reminding me of how soon it will end.

     The nice nurse said, “You don’t look your age.” Does that mean people my age should be dead? Does that mean, I look one year younger or ten years younger? I am smart enough not to go there. It is what it is, and acceptance is my new mantra. I’m not doing very well accepting, but I don’t sit around whining about it and polluting the air with horror stories that no one really wants to hear. 

     I did fill out the bucket list question though. After our last big trip, I told my husband that I had done everything on my bucket list, and I couldn’t think of one thing I hadn’t done or one place I hadn’t gone. Well, in the past year, a whole new bucket list has evolved, and the number one thing on my bucket list is to take a trip with my two daughters. I don’t care where we go; I just want to spend quality time with them. They don’t see the value in this at their ages, but one day, looking back after I’m up their with the cherubs and angels, they will say, “Wow, I’m so glad we went to --------with Mom. Do you remember when she said. . . . ?” I want them to remember our giggles, my inappropriate clothes, my clicking stilettos, my wise words and my unconditional love. I want them to remember not just where we went and what we did, I want them to remember that I made them feel

loved, respected and cherished. This is the only preventive medicine I need:  a healthy shot of daughterly love. Side effects guaranteed for life.