The Middle Aged Woman’s List of Medical Appointments

Annual Physical – Non-event. Blood Pressure excellent. Very few medications at this time (nasal spray for mild allergies, ibuprofen for everything else). You are feeling good.

OB/GYN Annual Physical – Big event as it is discovered that your IUD has gone missing from your uterine cavity. See “You Had a Bad Day” at for the full story.

Mammogram – After nursing four children, the breast squeeze exam is a total non-event. Must wait 3 weeks for results, however, and since there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you’re always extremely relieved if/when you receive good news on this particular test for another year.

Podiatrist – The new style of sneaker on the market today (ultra light and flexible) is inappropriate for your feet. Happy to know that your problem is a mechanical one. No, surgery will NOT be necessary. No, you are told, you don’t even need pesky shoe inserts. But, yes, you will need to visit a Footwear shoe store where many styles of unattractive “old people” shoes abound and, I’m sorry, but you will be forced to select a pair of the most appropriate shoe that you can stand for your daily dog walks. The inflammation to the pad of your foot could take as long as three months to fully heal. You find a pair of red patent leather shoes that don’t look too bad (you DO like red!) and what’s more, your four-year-old gives them the thumbs up.

Optometrist – You need to have your eyeglasses and contact lenses prescriptions renewed so that you can continue to purchase your contact lenses supplies cheaply through 1-800-Contacts. In the waiting room, every patient is sixty years old or more. You don’t ignore all the aging bodies around you. Not this time. You look at each one of your fellow patients, your vision aided by the contact lenses you are wearing this morning. No one else has contact lenses on. They are all wearing eye glasses. Two of the patients wear eye patches as well. Cataracts? You watch how two of the patients slowly unfold out of their waiting room chairs and carefully amble over to the inner sanctum of the examination room area beyond. When it is your turn to go in for your appointment, you are conscious of the ease with which you get up from your waiting room chair. You think to yourself that you will try hard to remember this moment several years from now.

Physical Therapy Store – On your way out of the Kaiser Permanente Hospital/Doctors offices complex you have visited today for many of these appointments, you pop into the Physical Therapy Store to purchase two additional seat wedges for your lower back pain, which has increased this past year with all your writing and sitting at your desk. One wedge will go in your driver’s car seat, the other in your office chair to prevent “schlumping” and cumulative damage from poor posture while sitting. No, the wedge is not for hemorrhoids you tell your friend quickly when she gives it a questioning glance upon entering your car. “It’s for my lower back issues. I don’t have hemorrhoids!”  Yet.

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