When I was twenty-four, I got run over by a car. And when I say “I got run over by a car,” I’m saying that it ripped my jeans in half and I found my shoe thirty feet from the scene. Because I had been drinking, I waited until the next morning to go to the emergency room and just Boondock Saints‘d it all night. When I finally made it there the next morning, the doctor gave me two X-rays because he refused to believe that I didn’t break any bones in my ankle. Little did he know, I’m a physical specimen who drinks a fuck-ton of milk.
For the next three to four months, I was in and out of the doctor’s office to ensure my devastated ankle didn’t get infected. While the nurses loved me (And why wouldn’t they? I had one nurse pinch my ass at the bar during this ordeal.) the doctors grew to hate me. I was going in about every three days because, well, my foot looked fucked up. Picture third degree burns covered in dead skin, tire tread, and some green shit that’s still remained unexplained to me. Anyway, while I was being a complete hypochondriac about my ankle, the doctors were not. One of them finally told me, “Scaries, stop coming in so often. It’s not even close to being infected.”
See, when you’re twenty-four, you’re (supposed to be) in peak physical condition. I really had nothing wrong with me besides a mangled ankle. Let’s just say that I went on a workout binge and lost twenty-five college pounds when I was twenty-three, so your boy was looking GOOD. Everything was coming up Scaries at that point in my life, so going to the doctor was more of a confidence building exercise that just reaffirmed I was crushing it.
But now I’m twenty-fucking-eight. I haven’t been to the gym in two years. I drive the golf cart from where I chip to the absolute edge of the green. I refuse to play singles tennis because I like having a doubles partner to fetch balls for me. I turned off the pedometer feature on my iPhone because I was appalled with how few steps I take on a daily basis. My vertical is, like, seven inches. I’m facing the harsh reality that no one in his or her late twenties wants to face: I’m getting old.
The three things I have dreaded most in life are scheduling classes, updating my résumé, and going to the dentist. And now, as of late, going to a regular physician has started to creep into my psyche.
Just last year, I thought to myself, “You know what, Scaries? Sack up and get a physical.” I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got a full-on fucking physical. We’re talking the works: ball feeling, blood tests, everything. When I returned to the doctor a week later to get the results, I sat in the examination room for, like, forty-five minutes waiting for him to come in. My mind was racing.
“What if they found something life-threatening?”
“Am I going to test positive for some type of controlled substance?”
“Why is the doctor taking so long to see me? Is he trying to figure out how to break the news?”
“Is this mole on my back full-blown cancer? What about on my balls? I bet I have testicular cancer.”
*sneakily puts hand down pants to check, absolutely praying the doctor doesn’t bust through the door unexpectedly*
“Yep, I have cancer.”
When the doctor finally fucking arrived, he said, “Scaries! Everything’s looking good! You’re in great shape.” I had just convinced myself that I was going to test positive for cocaine (literally impossible because I hadn’t done cocaine) and that I was in the late stages of testicular cancer (everything was working phenomenally down there before my self-examination). The only issue was that my triglyceride levels were abnormally high because I Tony Soprano’d and had a pasta dinner with a few glasses of wine the night before my blood test. We went through all my vitals and, at that point, I was psyched on myself.
But then he asked the question that no one in his or her twenties wants to field: “On average, how many drinks would you say you have in a given week?”
Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
This question is worse than your aunt asking why you aren’t engaged yet. Worse than anything someone can ask you when you’re hungover. Worse than a girl asking what size you think she is.
I started calculating in my head: “Well, three glasses of wine on any given weeknight, and, like, four to five beers at happy hour on Friday before switching to voddy-sodas to last me until about 2 a.m. Like, three to four casual beers throughout Saturday because, well, it’s fucking Saturday. Then the same Friday regimen on Saturday night before having a couple brunch cocktails on Sunday to cool the nerves. Then obviously Tervis Wine Sunday rules apply, so a couple of those, too.”
“Uhhhh, I’m not really sure, maybe like ten?” The doctor’s bullshit meter was probably going through the roof because he saw me counting on my fingers for a good ninety seconds. I recently read that doctors double the number of drinks that you actually say, and he was probably quadrupling mine at this point.
“And what do you normally drink?” he asked.
“Uhhhh, Miller Lite?”
“Yeah, maybe you should just not drink so many of those. Anyway, you mind if I look at the foot that got run over by a car? Still can’t believe you didn’t break anything.”
I wiped the sweat from my brow and let out a sigh of relief that the conversation had turned. After ten minutes of conversation around my immaculately healed foot and ankle, the doctor and I walked out of the examination room with the tacit understanding that yeah, I probably drink too many Miller Lites but I have the lower-body strength of Adonis.
And you know what? Even though I’m probably on the wrong end of the “healthy” part of the BMI calculator and I should probably reduce the amount of beers I drink during happy hour, maybe going to the doctor isn’t so bad after all. It’s better than getting run over by a car..