A week into the New Year and two Dr Visits

Buster Relaxing pool side

A new year, it’s supposed to be a time of hope, promise well wishes, etc.  So far it has been and we’re only 9 days in, with two exceptions, Dr visits…. Two in a week.

Way back in 2014 my wife Renee informed me she had made an appointment for me with my Dr for  “a checkup” in 2015.  At the time, I probably grunted or acknowledged the kind gesture, knowing I would never proactively do this on my own.

Right around Janaury 2nd she RE-informed me “Tuesday don’t forget you have a ‘Wellness Checkup’. That was the punch in the mouth.  So now the insurance companies are putting a fancy term for the annual physical.

I tried getting out of it with a made a made up conference call, but no dice.  She informed me by doing this we save $500 off our insurance premium by being proactive.   In  one of my true patented moves I deflected and inquired  when is your ‘Wellness Check Up’? Turns out hers  is next week.

As I removed my flip flops for the weigh in I immediately did some math in my head cargo shorts,  t shirt, wallet, phone, pen, business cards these all have to weigh 4 pounds at least.  243 the nurse confirmed confidently, I asked for a do over.  2nd time 243.  Next, up against the wall, this I knew 6’2”.  Her reply 6’ 1” I didn’t bother asking for the do over, although in my head  I thought,  great I am getting heavier and I am shrinking.

Next up was the joyous ‘Wellness Checkup’ room just as I imagined cold & sterile.  I was informed as expected “ undress and cover yourself with this blanket.”  Blanket, more like a giant cocktail napkin.

Rather than sit up and wait on that super high table I figured I would lay down and relax.  My snoring woke me up and I was in a pitch dark room, the overhead  motion lights had shut off.  And then in pops Dr Wonderful,  he is actually not a bad guy he is sarcastic as am I so we get along.  Although his sarcastic jabs have the truth and they are of course about my body.

He looked over the computer screen vitals, etc.  I preempted him with a “I know doc, 6’2” 240” I need to lose some weight.  His reply, as he flashed a condescending smile, “You think?”.  Here we go I thought, let the banter begin.  “Actually, Chris, you are 6’ 1 and change and you are 243”.

I asked what is the technical term for my height and weight or BMI he said “obese”. Obese? In my head, I thought that was for fat people.  Sarcastically, and again patented deflection, “Well, at least I am not morbidly obese, I said with a chuckle.” His reply,  “keep living how you’re living you’re only a few percentage points away from it.”

I should weigh 210.  His advice 30 minutes of brisk exercise most days of the week, eat right and lose a pound a week for the next 30 weeks.   Super.

The wellness checkup continued,  it was a cold reality.  A prescription cream for some precancerous things on my face, and an appointment about a sleep apnea study. The good news “you are only 44 so I am not going to get to know you more intimately today, but in 6 years it will be regular and often”.  Great.  Happy New Year.

His parting shot before he ducked out away from the curtain and out the door, “Remember, as he slapped his abs/belly, a pound a week for the next 30 weeks and your stomach will look like mine” and he smiled a damn glistening pearly white smile.  The only thing missing was a “ding” a bright star appearing on his smile and him shooting me with a fake thumb index finger gun.

I looked down at the inner tube around my waist and thought super 30 weeks to lose 30 pounds.  If I get my teeth whitened, some flowing hair extensions and start shopping at Banana Republic I can look like Dr Wonderful.

It is now out there so I am committed to losing the weight.

The Other Dr Visit

24 hours later a meeting with Dr Feinberg, our vet.  He is the best.  Buster 12, our old oldest Chocolate Lab recently had a growth.  It was a mystery to the Dr but he drained it a couple times over the past few weeks.  It was something we were to keep an eye on surgery could be the option.

As of late the growth had gotten bigger and Renee & I had made up our mind surgery it is.  It was not as easy as I just wrote, we went back and forth discussing it for a couple weeks.  I called the Dr to discuss pre-op what will happen, etc. to get more details.  The surgery that was off in the distance was now way more real.

I actually was talked out of surgery on the phone call, but advised to bring Buster  in and we will do some x-rays, the thought being some things could be found or eliminated.  X rays looked good an ultrasound went ok.  A couple things were noticed, and some more fluid was drained to be sent off to the lab the results will be back in 48 hours.  Dr Feinberg informed us Buster has no idea what is happening when he touches the lump or drains the fluid he does not flinch or anything.

As we sat in the exam room the Dr went into further details about what could be happening with the lump, it could be a tumor, possibly cancerous, surgery is still an option and the other S word sleep.  Sleeping was mentioned in passing, but Renee &  I knew the meaning.  That was the kick in the groin.

l-r McCoy, Sierra, Buster
l-r McCoy, Sierra, Buster

When  we adopted him as a senior dog almost two years ago we turned the lives of Sierra & McCoy, our other two chocolate labs upside down.   Buster did not mind, he is a people dog and stays clear of those two.  They have accepted him and often try and get him to play, but he can’t be bothered, he just likes to chill.  He’s Buster happy, grateful, hungry and appreciative.

He’s  a happy dog, he smiles, his eyes even smile and he wags his tail nonstop like a windshield wiper.  When he sees us after we have been gone for a while he waits for his rubbys and leans into us as we pet him. He will put all his weight into his lean it’s almost like he’s giving us a hug back.

Well, today as I write this we are at about 43 hours later.

I always try and answer my phone no matter what, whether I know the number or not after all it could be a story for the paper or a business looking to advertise.  Governor Animal Clinic always comes up “No Caller ID” when it shows up on my phone today I know who it will be, I am hoping for some good news.

Happy New Year.

Buster relaxing in the late afternoon sun.
Buster relaxing in the late afternoon sun.


UPDATE 1/19/15

I can fix my overweight diagnosis.

What I cannot fix is the cancer running through the blood vessels of ol Buster.  The prognosis we received this evening is that he is on the clock.

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