Busy busy day today. My annual check-up followed by a fascinating interview and then a tour of the Shriners Children's Hospital in Tampa.
Gotta be honest I was a little nervous about my check up. I've just come off a couple or three months serious munching - I knew my weight was up five pounds going in. Then they'd pre-drilled me for blood-work samples ten days ago and I knew the evidence would be waiting on Dr. Khan's desk. So I braced myself for creeping cholesterol, touchy triglycerides and burgeoning blood pressure.
But it turns out that ALL my numbers (other than the five pounds) are improved from last year. My doctor gave me an A plus in general, and the 25 point drop in cholesterol was sweet indeed. I now plan to eat my way around Italy this summer with a clear conscience!
My only anomaly was the EKG but it's all good: Let me explain.
"I want to give you a new EKG," my doctor said. "If you remember we found something unusual a couple of years ago and I want to check something out."
So she wired me up and, while the nurse was checking the connections, pulled up my last two EKGs on the computer. "This is an old one," she said. "Then next to it is the one we did when I first saw you three years ago. Notice this spike? That's what we want to see again today."
Sure enough, when she fired up the cables, today's readout perfectly mimicked the first two.
"I didn't like it when I first saw it," Dr. Khan said, "but the good news is it's consistent. That's your EKG signature and we'll only worry if it ever changes."
"Let me get this right," I said. "My readout is abnormal for the general population, but it's normal for me...?"
I actually like that idea a lot. I mean, who wants to be normal - especially if normal means "average", unexceptional", or "run of the mill"?
There are a number of reasons my doctor remembers me well, even though we only talk once or twice a year. First off I always make her laugh. Then I ask her about her family and her life - and I know that means a lot. She also knows that I'm passionate and motivated about my life and what I do - she once told me she wished she had more patients who actually live every day rather than merely mark time.
It's not just my EKG signature that's working its way out from the middle of "the bell-shaped curve..." I'm trying to make it my spiritual signature too.
Maybe it's time for a new spiritual check-up all around?