40 and Healthy?

The first question I asked the nurse tonight is why my husband hasn’t been invited to see if he’s healthy. Surely the fact that we share our birthday should mean he’ll be invited to an over 40 health check soon? Or maybe I’m a more deserving case for help. Frankly he needs to suffer the excruciating experience of mildly underestimating the amount he drinks just as much as I did.

So I’m 40. 40 and 4 months actually. When I was 39 it wasn’t a problem apparently, but 40. Well, you can’t be too careful. I got a text message inviting me in for a health check but since I needed a repeat prescription on Thursday I went in to pick it up and thought I’d raise the subject then.

“Hi, I’ve come to pick up my prescription that you said you would sort out for me on when I rang?”

“Ah. No you can’t have the prescription until you have a check with the nurse practitioner. She will need to check your blood pressure. I can book you an appointment on Tuesday.”

“Ok, well I’ve had a text about needing a health check, is that the same?”

“Oh no, it’s a different nurse but we can get you two appointments, one after the other.”

“Just out of interest is the second nurse also going to check my blood pressure?”

“Oh yes. And your weight and BMI.”

“Just like the first one?”

“Yes. But it’s different”.

Audible sigh.

So I turned up at the doctors with only a mild sense of trepidation. I was pretty much expecting the health review to yield the following results:

1. I drink a bit too much
2. I’m a bit overweight/my BMI is a bit high
3. I don’t do enough exercise
4. My cholesterol is slightly high (I like cheese).

I went into my first appointment this evening and the nurse checked my blood pressure and weighed me.

Then she checked my height.

I pointed out that I didn’t think the tablets I’m on would have made me shorter than the last time I came in. She laughed, then measured me anyway. She took my blood pressure (fine) and weighed me. Staggeringly I’m a bit overweight/my BMI is a bit high. Neither of us seemed particularly concerned.

I went back into the waiting room before being called upstairs.

Unsurprisingly my blood pressure in the second room was also fine, and I was the same amount overweight. The new nurse asked if she could measure my height. I said if I hadn’t put on weight since walking upstairs it was unlikely I had grown.

Then she pricked my finger and deduced that my cholesterol is a bit high. I also should do a bit more exercise and drink less prosecco.

The whole thing was perfectly fine apart from the blatant waste of time in me being checked for exactly the same things within ten minutes. Apparently my risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years is 0.56%. It sounded quite good but largely because I think having a 0 at the front sounds like it’s probably ok.

I managed to come home and not crack open a bottle of Pinot Grigio, but I did open the biscuits my friend had just given me. I’ll make it to the gym again tomorrow…

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