A hallmark of modern medicine is the annual physical. This once a year holistic assessment of wellbeing is meant to give a snapshot of the body’s condition and how it can be improved upon. Today I had my annual physical. This is my story.
It began much like any other doctor’s appointment. I arrived a few minutes early, participated in friendly banter with the secretary, and quietly flipped through a magazine while I waited for the doctor.
Eventually she emerged and summoned me into her office. Far from the standard, this office was a modern take on the doctor’s arena. Featuring windows which comprised 2 of 4 walls on the 38th floor of the building, the doctor’s habitat was comforting upon entrance. The comfort was soon to dissipate.
The normal line of questioning was assumed, with the normal diet of answers served up. Eventually the assessment of height and weight was proposed, and I graciously accepted. The dance of wall and scale came and went, and we were again seated opposite one another; two strangers feigning familiarity.
The veil was ripped asunder when the taker of the Hippocratic oath filled me in on a secret. Turns out, I’m technically overweight.
They say you always remember where you were when you received news of a tragedy. I will never forget that office with the windowed walls overlooking Chicago.
While I assure you she exercised the utmost professionalism, the words I heard were, “You must have really loved all that food you fat fuck, you porky pig looking motherfucker. Crisco should model a new can after you because you’re apparently the perfect vessel for lard.”
I stood up, dizzy, stumbling, looking for a point of reference on which to focus in a world which suddenly didn’t make sense. When I lurched back into my seat, it was with a new perspective. Being an obstinate pragmatist I compromised. Sure, I was overweight, but now I saw being overweight as a strength.
Heart health? Who needs it. Plane seats? I’ll pay for one and take two, thank you. On the bus? Those handicapped seats suddenly look so inviting.
The world is my oyster, and now I can take everyone else’s oysters as well.