Health care is my newest hobby. It’s pretty fun. I’m like the Six Hundred Dollar (deductible) Man. I never had health care growing up, so access is still new to me. The whole “Go to the doctor when you don’t feel right” is a little odd. But when the semester ended, I finally gave in and yelled “ALRIGHT” to my body and took it in for an oil change or three.
SIDE NOTE: This is no Obamacare message, kids; I had to have it for college. Obamacare, however, I have no real issue with despite its $300 million faulty website.
I’ve been playing catch-up. Doctors here, dentists there, dermatologists here, physical therapy there. It’s become apparent that my body is no longer the free-spirited albatross it once was. I used to pass doctor’s offices like a bicycle passes gas stations. “No thanks!” I would yell, though really, I didn’t even see them. But health is something I actually have to think about now.
And you should see me, really, selecting boxes on forms and explaining details to assistants like a novelist. “The pain in my knee visits like an ill-fated wayfarer in late winter’s morn, a bitter kiss of chillness, a choking warmth of distasted familiarity, financing terror in—”
“So it hurts here?”
I feel like I’m getting to know my doctor; the other day, I asked her how her son’s college planning is going. We’re like besties. That’s what happens, kids. One day you are a young squire gallanting with the town, the next you are fitting lunch between two doctors appointments and wondering whether or not you took your morning pill. It just sort of sneaks up on you.
I often wonder about the human body, existentially. We are fascinating creatures. As we age, life changes. We fight against the clock and keep up appearances, we try to keep everything working. Health, like a mirage. Lately, my body has felt less like an empowering force for action, and more like a sack of potatoes that really needs to be cooked.
I once heard a smart man say that “all possessions are inevitably distractions,” and I’m starting to understand what he meant. My body has certainly begun to feel like a distraction. We’re given the body to accomplish a few goals, travel a few miles, and when we’re done we’re laid to rest, returned as on Boxing Day. What purpose, then, is there to life?
That’s a big question, and I’m not entirely sure I can answer that in my fifteen minutes before work. Nevertheless, here are some take-aways I’ve gathered from my recent health care craze.
Three Life Lessons:
1. An apple a day does not keep the doctor away. This sentiment is a lie fabricated by the apple industry, lobbied, I believe, to the bastards in congress.
2. We are given the body to accomplish goals. For believers, like myself, this means we are given a tool to further God’s Kingdom on earth. What greater motivation is there, for action, than an actual deadline?
3. The body is temporary, yes, as is youth and free health. However, this is no excuse for inaction and wastefulness. We are limited in ways God sees fit, I suppose, and it is a reminder to depend on His grace and strength rather than our own.
I’ve also learned that seeing a doctor is not a problem to complain about, but a luxury I shouldn’t waste. Finally, there is always someone doing worse than you are. Instead of focusing on your own problems, maybe we could all start praying for someone else’s.
And here is a fire breathing unicorn carrying a pistol-packin’ cat.
Thanks for reading!
Picture at the top: The other day at Rochester’s Lilac Festival. Yes, as it turns out, the sun does shine here, and spring is a thing.
I have a very simple system. I blame all health-related issues on my psychiatric disorder so I only have to see one doctor — a psychiatrist. It may make little sense but, hey, I have a mental illness. What do you expect?