“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

Sorry for the lateness of the hour, but I had my yearly physical this morning, the last of my scheduled yearly or semi-yearly appointments. I have now crossed off three doctors and a dentist. All that’s left is to schedule my eye appointment.

When I was a kid, I only saw the doctor if something happened or I was really sick which was seldom. My parents were of the generation which didn’t see doctors for well visits. My mother was sick one Christmas in Colorado and my sister dragged her screaming to the doctor who said she had pneumonia. That was her first visit to a doctor since my sister had been born over forty years before that. I have a stable of doctors, or at least that’s what I call them, as several parts of my body have their own specialists. It seems the older I get the bigger the stable.

It is cold today but sunny, and the sun is warm. My car was hot when I left the doctor’s office. A wind is swaying the tops of the pine trees and blowing the dead leaves hanging off the branches, but I think I’d call it a pretty day if anyone asked.

When I set up an appointment for next year’s physical, the receptionist asked if I had any preference for a day. I said no. I didn’t tell her they’re all the same to me, that they are my days to do what I want. She asked if morning was okay. I said no. Once a week I set my alarm to meet my friend for breakfast at nine, and I don’t fancy setting it for any other day. My alarm clock is battery run, and I only put in the battery when I need to use the clock so the battery and clock sit idly on my bureau. I don’t even wear a watch though I did bring one to Ghana last year which is funny when I think of it. Ghana runs on its own clock. The time is arbitrary. Meet me at nine means nothing of the sort to a Ghanaian. It really means meet me whenever. The buses run by the Ghanaian state transport leave on time, but they only go to major stops. The other buses which go from town to town and village to village leave when they are filled. That sometimes means waiting hours.

I am by nature impatient, but I became patient when I lived in Ghana. After I got home, the patience wore off. Last summer it came back, and it was one of the favorite parts of my trip: remembering that life isn’t a whirlwind. Things will get done. You just have to be patient.

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10 Comments on ““Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Cloudy but warm most of the day but the sun broke through just before I went home from work. Tonight will be cold again and the snow will fall on Thursday they say. Won’t stay for long though 🙂

    I used to have loads of doctors in my stable 🙂 But now days there’s only one and I’ll meet him every second year so he can check my hips. I never went to the doctor either since my family was just the way Yours was 🙂 Funny really because back then a doctors visit was almost free of charge, it still is for children. The only time I went to see the doctor was when I broke everything and I mean everything in my right arm. It took the doctor almost eight hours to put it together again 🙂 🙂 🙂

    The only time I’m impatient now days is when I have an appointment of some kind or if I’ll travel somewhere. I never was before and I think I stressed a lot of people with my impatiens. Living like I do it’s no use to be anything else than patient, if the car breaks down I can’t go anywhere anyway 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      It stayed cold and sunny all day today though it did get to 39°. Like with you, it will be cold tonight but it is supposed to get warmer toward the end of the week.

      I never used to go for regular check-ups until I got back from the Peace Corps. O had to have everything checked before I left so I figured I might as well keep doing that.

      I still am not a good waiter for people or appointments which are running late. if you say a time, mean that time unless you live in Ghana.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My mother was like your mother. However, sometime in her late 70’s it occurred to her that she had been paying for health insurance for a bajillion years so she should be getting something out it. She started going to the doctor to get her money’s worth. 🙂

    I do have a clock by my sitting area because my cable box no longer displays the time and sometimes I need to know what it is. The cable box, the computer and the microwave were my only clocks for quite some time after I retired.

    Sunny with a cold breeze up here today. Snow is melting, though. Enjoy the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      My mother was covered by my Da’s Blue Cross then by Medicare, but she didn’t see that as reason enough for regulat check-ups.

      I have the clock on my cable box and my DVD player. They are not in sync which used to drive me crazy, but I got over that!

      No snow here-we only got rain that last storm.

  3. Bill S. Says:

    In NH it is very cold today, and the foot of snow we got last week has no intention of going anywhere soon.

    In 1997 I shattered my left wrist, and it is held together with metal pieces. My Dr. Erickson, the best hand surgeon in Mass., said it might bother me again in 10-15 years, and he was right. I’m considering wrist fusion. In 1997 I shattered my left heel, and it’s also put together with metal. Maybe I should just cut off the left side of my body and be done with it.

    I have on occasion seen “The Amazing Race”, and I have to laugh at the contestants when they get so frustrated with “timetables” in foreign countries. Even Germany, known for it’s punctuality, has trains that run behind time. In Ghana I can remember waiting for a Benz bus in Tamale to leave for Bolga–waiting all day. But what else did we have to do?? Life’s too short to worry about it.Enjoy your surroundings–you may never pass this way again….

    • Kat Says:

      Luckily we got rain, two days worth while you were getting snow.

      Into my head popped a one dimension person right-side only. I had two back surgeries last year; the second was to correct the first but I still have back issues. Maybe it has to do with the 8 screws in the back.

      I always watch The Amazing Race. It is one of my favorite TV programs. Last year they were in Accra and also in a small village which i forget the name of. My friend Claire also watches it and decided that the last place she would go was Accra. Ironically, her brother has been transferred to Ghana for a year so he and his wife are moving to Accra. Claire says no on visiting. I tried to explain they would be living in a grand house in Osu with a cook, housecleaner and some guards. That didn’t matter.

      Waiting is still a Ghanaian tradition.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Me too. A stable for sure. Although I went for years without having even an annual checkup. I never saw an ER only from the outside looking in if a friend was ill. I can’t count the number of doctors I’ve seen since my bypass operation in 2006. Once they get a piece of you then your body is up for grabs. I’m surprised my meds equal three tablets a day. I have friends up to 9-14 and one is on a weed inhaler. Let’s just pass those around and not bother with the doctors.

    • Kat Says:

      I take 4 pills a day and 3 of them are for the a-fib which is constant. Without that, I’d just have my primary and a doctor or two every few years for check ups for past problems. I wish I could do without my stable!

  5. Bob Says:

    When I was a kid my parents took us for our annual physicals and we screamed and cried because we knew that the doctor was going to stick our finger for a blood count and then give us a shot for something. My mother believed that if the doctor didn’t give you a shot the visit was worthless.

    As an adult I had to go to the doctor semiannually for my airman’s medical certification. Everyone knew which doctors gave the easiest physicals. I would go to ‘fast Freddie’. His nurse had you read the eye chart, collected the bottle of urine, took your blood pressure and collected the money. The doctor took about five minutes to check you out if he was having a slow day. Any physician can apply to the Federal Aviation Administration to become a Designated Airman Medical Examiner (AME). Being an AME is a license to print money. Before ‘fast Freddie’ I went to a doctor who was an Obstetrician and Gynecologist. He was about 75 and there were never any woman in his office. This was back in the days when woman pilots were not very common. He kept doing at least 15 or more airman physicals daily, at $100 a pop with low malpractice insurance premiums, until he could no longer hear through the stethoscope.

    I can’t stand not wearing a watch and knowing the time. I like watches that can keep track of two or more time zones so that I know how far I am from the Prime Meridian. Since I don’t fly any longer it doesn’t matter if I know the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) but old habits die hard. I now get real physicals annually because my flying career is over and I want to catch anything early that could kill me or prevent my body from going strong for a long time.

    • Kat Says:

      I remember going for stitches and a test for my heart murmur in the 8th but that is it until I was accepted into the Peace Corps when I had to have a complete physical and all of my dental issues cleared. Once I started, I figured I might as well keep it up.

      My first doctor when I got home was also quite old, and he was easy with few intrusive procedures then he retired, and my new doctor was pretty thorough. Then that one retired and I got another one I liked who just retired so the one I saw today is brand new to me.

      You needed to be on time so watches were important. When I worked, clocks were all over so I didn’t need one, and the school bells rang to move us along.

      I’m with you in wanting stuff to be caught early.

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