Thursday, September 06, 2007

Going to the Doctor

This morning I made a visit to my favorite AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) to have my aviation medical certificate renewed for another six months. For some reason I always find trip a little amusing.

My favorite part is the urine sample you have to give. There's always so much pressure to........um.....well.......to go. You know that on the other side of the door the nurse is standing there just waiting for you to fill up the 2 ounce jar they give you. I know there's only one nurse but for some reason, when I'm in the bathroom I think that my nurse has called over all the other nurses and they have little bets going on how long it's going to take me to fill up the cup.

That brings me to another question, how much of a sample do they need? Do they want a whole jar of urine? I can give them a whole jar if they need it but that seems a bit excessive. Obviously they need more then a couple drops though. Today I split the difference and gave them half a jar. Is there anything more humiliating then walking out of a public bathroom with a cup of your own pee and handing it to the nurse? And then they get to do there own little science experiment with it, sticking all sorts of different Ph papers into it to see what kind of horrible disease I might have. You're just standing there waiting for the nurse to look at you like you're about to die.

Then they say, "You can wash your hands if you'd like to." I wonder to myself, "Does anyone ever not wash their hands at the doctors office when a nurse is watching?" My hands are never so clean as when I just finished washing my hands at the doctors office. I scrub them like I'm getting ready to perform surgery. I use soap twice, I'm lathering up my arms, after five minutes of scrubbing my hands the nurse finally says to me, "Ummmm, are you about ready?"

Then comes the hearing test, where they put you into a sound booth and give you some headphones and say, "just click the button whenever you hear three beeps." Oh, I try so hard for this test, like my life depends on it. Some of the beeps are obvious but then you start thinking, did I just hear one and by the time you think you heard one you click the button during another set of beeps. The rest of the year I couldn't care less how well I hear stuff but all of the sudden I'm trying to be the bionic man in this booth listening to a squeal so high a dog can't even hear it. Then my stomach growled and I thought I missed a beep because my stomach was louder then any of the beeps. After they tested my right ear they started testing my left ear although I could swear I could still hear beeping in my other ear.

Finally after all the testing with the nurse, it's time to see the big man, the head honcho, the doctor! When he first walks in, I put down the latest version of a magazine I'd never think of subscribing to. We have a little chit chat about life, sports, whatever, trying to have a grown up conversation when all I'm thinking about is how in 5 minutes this guy is going to ask me to pull down my pants.

After a quick check with the doctor I'm on my way for another six months! I better start studying for my next hearing exam!

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