Thursday, July 31, 2008


Okay, so, you all know about the half marathon I want to do in September, right? Well, for SOME silly reason, in order to sign up for it, you have to have a certificate from the doctor that says there's no reason you shouldn't run it. So, I go to the doctor yesterday.

Let me preface this by saying that I HATE going to the doctor here. For one, even when you have an appointment, you always have to wait an ungodly amount of time in the waiting room. Then, when you get into the doc's office, it's usually, well, an OFFICE with a desk and whatnot and he usually says, "Take off your clothes" right then and there... No little private room, no little paper robe, nothin', just get nekked. And yeah, I KNOW he's gonna see all my parts eventually, but there's just something dehumanizing about derobing in front of someone with little or no foreplay on a medical level like that, you know?

So, we go (yeah, that's right, I took my husband and three kids to the doctor with me and I feigned linguistic resons, okay?) and we sit in the waiting room which has NO air conditioning, of course, and has one tiny oscillating fan, but the windows are closed and everyone one in the waiting room is melting in their chairs. We sit there for an ungodly amount of time, during which Laurel decides she wants a boob and though I've been told that "In France, you can't just do it anywhere you want" (oh REALLY? but you can make out and almost have SEX in the park in front of my kids? You can unzip and piss wherever you want on any building or light post you want right in front of my kids while we're eating outside at a restaurant? but I can't discreetly give my kid a boob? Insert eyeroll here.). So, I'm giving her a boob and a doctor walks in, says a name looking directly at me and says, "So, is the soup good?" Meaning is my child's dinner good. I'm not sure if he's being funny or if he's trying to ridicule me into feeling guilty for my "indiscretion" or what, so I fight the impulse to say, "Looks like it," and instead just stare back at him. Whatevah. Later, Sam told me that the guy was an OB, so let's just hope he was being funny. Yeah, that's how we're gonna take it.

So, the doc comes into the waiting room and calls me. My boob is still in the baby's mouth. *sigh* I put things away and get ready to go back, but he says, "Maybe your husband and children would like to stay here?" I send Sam a pleading look, but he says, "Go ahead." I sent "you traitor" darts at him with my eyes, but sighed and went with the doctor, steeling myself to undress with no ceremony whatsoever.

But we get into his office and he has me sit down. He asks me all kinds of questions. One of them was, "How long have you been in France?"

"About three weeks," I say.

He drops his pen. "So, how is it that you speak French natively?"

I can't help it. Call it ego. Call it the ONE thing I have to be proud of that I EARNED with my own blood, sweat and tears (and I mean that LITERALLY) but I LOOOOOVE that reaction.

"Oh, well, I used to live here... I've been out of the country about seven years."

"Hmm. Obviously it's like riding a bike, huh?"

I smile.

He asks a few more questions, like why I'm there and about marathons and stuff. He asks if I plan to nurse my baby for much longer, "Because, you KNOW, nursing will make you tired..." Um, dude, listen, I have three kids, if you think you're sending me some kind of medical news flash.... shhhhh, Joelie, don't get all huffy.

Then, he does something that surprises the hell out of me. He tells me to go into the little exam room (well, it's sort of an exam ALCOVE with a teensy wall half-separating it from his office) and get undressed down to my bra and underwear. I had to scoop my jaw up off the floor. Huh? You mean PRIVACY? Cool! So, I did as he asked and then sat timidly in a chair waiting--that was nearly as embarassing as undressing in front of him, just sitting there in my skivvies, tee hee hee *snort*. He came in, weighed me (which was convenient because I needed to weigh in for Biggest Loser),asked me to lie down, poked, prodded and did all the reflex stuff. I figured it was just a formality. I've lost forty pounds since January (okay 42, but I've put two back on since I've been here) and up untill three weeks ago spent two to three hours a day exercising at the Y. I'm thinking he's just gonna say, "Yep, you're healthy. Good luck!"

But he doesn't. He keeps moving his stethoscope around. I'm trying to relax, but I really thought this was going to be like getting my oil changed.

"You have a murmur. Did you know that?"

A murmur. A murmur.... Hmmmm... Yeah, okay, so last spring, I had strep (thank again Anne for watching the kids when I thought I was about to DIE) and went to the doc and she said something about a murmur, but I've had at least one EKG since then and no one said anything further. But instead, I lie and say, "No."

He steths some more. "Yes, you have a murmur." Steths some more. He asks me to sit up and then does it again.

"So, what does this mean?" I say, praying he's going to say that it's nothing.

"It means I can't give you your certificate."

My heart drops into my stomach... But what about the half? What about the HOUSTON FULL???????

"...UNTIL you go to a cardiologist and he gives you the thumbs up."

Shew. Big brow-wiper there.

So, in the end, he reminds me that I'm overweight and that, though he can't give me my certificate until I see the cardiologist, I should in no way change my training habits as long as I'm not having any symptoms--very good news there--congratulates me on my weight loss, gives his own thumbs up to Weight Watchers (he says, "Oh yeah, that one is very good... very well equilibrated" I don't know how else to translate that) and tells me to come back after the EKG. He also tells me that I had better not dally. Everyone (no, seriously, EVERYONE) goes on vacation for the entire month of August and if I want to get this done in time for the half, I had better get a move on--and it may already be too late... I may be trying to get all this done in a quickie fashion in early September. Then, he shakes my hand, tells me good luck. I tell him that I'll send Sam in to pay.

That's it.

So, no undressing in front of him. But compared to a murmur that kept me from quickly getting my certificate... well, I'd rather have just stripped down, honestly.

Cross your fingers for me.

In other news....

Looks like it's going to cost an arm and a leg after all to get the AC fixed in the van. I know, I know, it ain't green. And I completely agree with you. BUT, it ain't humane to watch my children dehydrate in the back of that van. As much as I wish that keeping the windows open would keep them cool, it doesn't (unless we're on the freeway, but then, we're going 90mph and there's so much wind that they look like they've been riding a motorcycle by the time we get where we're going). So, we're gonna hafta dip into the farm fund and pay for air conditioning. Plus, my sister in law (who is selling us the minivan) is gonna tell us this evening how much they want for the van. Eeek! Cross those fingers extra tight on that one. Our whole point in buying from them was to save money... Let's hope that happens. By now, we already bought insurance on the van, so, it's too late to back out. *shrug*

Stay tuned...


Erin said...

Holy cow! At least it's always interesting. I remember when I went to the doctor in France and when she told me to undress and I was looking around frantically for a dressing area...I told her how we do it in the US and she was all "that's a bit puritanical" and I'm like, I didn't ask for a friggin social commentary. Just check out my parts...sheesh.

Melissa said...

All that and you had to PAY too!?? I am sure your heart is fine, girl. It's made of gold.

Lori said...

Something like that happened to me too. I was told by a doctor that I had a slight heart murmur but that it was nothing to worry about. So, then I went to a dentist and had to fill out the medical information. Not thinking it would matter, I checked the little box next to "heart murmur" on the form (silly me). They wouldn't even clean my teeth because they said that plaque/bacteria may make it into my heart because of the murmur and that I had to get a consent form from my doctor saying it was ok. BACK to the doctor... who signed a form saying I was perfectly fine for teeth cleaning and whatever else. It was a huge pain in the arse for nothing. I imagine you'll hear the same news from the cardio guy. And thanks for teh reminder about BL... I almost forgot to submit my weight. Miss you much! (is2laugh)