Spring for me means time to wax my truck and get a full-service 29 point top to bottom appointment with my doctor — Yep, the old annual physical. I have one of those docs you can actually talk to, a great guy who just happens to be a tremendous physician and a good friend to boot. He is somewhere between an old-school take-two-call-me-in-the-morning-medicine man and a fresh intern bursting with a white-hot desire to cure everyone on the planet. Fact is, he is probably much closer to the former than the latter. He knows his stuff and that his idiot patient has a stupid case of white-coat disease. Never have been a big fan of needles, rubber gloves, or surly nurses. On the upside he keeps magazines in his waiting room other than back issues of Better Homes & Gardens.
Coincidentally, my annual physical this year was on the 4th anniversary marking the very day I was T-boned in a downtown intersection by a nice lady paying far more attention to her cell phone conversation than the fact she was blowing through a red-light and plowing into a motorcycle rider — me. In literally the blink of the eye she knocked me unceremoniously all over the intersection of St. Louis and Kimbrough, launching me (poor choice of words) on an 11 day fight for my life.
Perspective is an interesting thing when you realize how quickly it can evaporate along with things like, oh, say breathing. There is something very humbling about laying in the middle of an intersection hearing first responders rushing up with sirens screaming knowing their sole purpose is to help a total stranger. Thanks guys and gals for the assist with a special shout-out to Station 1. The result of that day pretty much convinced me that I am authorized to celebrate not one but two birthdays, the old regular one in early June and the other every April 9th, at about 3:20 PM. By the way, I just turned 4.
So my friends, the 2010 Rubber Glove Grand Prix is in the books along with the requisite amount of prodding, poking, and pricking — perhaps an unfortunate but nonetheless accurate characterization of the event. The doc says I am in remarkable shape for a guy knocking on the 60-something door, particularly considering what I have been through and lived to tell about it. Of course every year I remind him of that old Tom T. Hall lyric, “There’s more old drunks than there old doctors, so I guess I’ll just have another round.” I have come to the conclusion that annual physicals aren’t too bad at all. Just make sure the snap of the rubber glove is administered by a cool doctor who has a sense of humor and a smart-ass (pun intended) comment about it all.