I’ve Put It Off Long Enough

by Steve Mitchell

So, my recent trips to the dentist were the first times I’d had my teeth checked/worked on in a long time – in a very long time.  I won’t even say how long.  It had been a stoopid long time.

I was scared to death of what the dentist would find.  I was braced for disaster.  I expected extractions and root canals and prosthetics and scaffolding and surgeries and pain and Oompa Loompas and dollar signs.

It turned out to be not so bad.  I needed surprisingly little repair and some serious deep cleaning.

Whew!  What a relief!


Now, the teeth are squared away and I’m looking at getting a full wellness physical

Again, I’m afraid.

I’m pretty healthy on the surface of it.  I’m reasonably lean.  I work out.  I don’t eat too much crap.

But, I’ve only been to see a doctor a handful of times since I got out of the service.  I went after my motorcycle wreck.  I went when I had pneumonia.  I went when had a urinary tract infection.

I haven’t had an actual full exam in years.

In decades.

So who knows what’s hiding under the surface?

I’m so afraid they’ll find some chronic condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) and I’ll be put on a roller coaster of medication and symptom management and that’ll cause more chronic conditions and I’ll need more medications and . . . ugh.

Right now I take none medications.

I sometimes take aspirin.

And I drink the booze.


I don’t really like my primary care physician so I’ve looked up another doctor, an internist, and now I’m screwing up the courage to make the call and schedule an exam with blood tests and stress tests and trained monkeys and the works.

I may not like what they find, but who knows?

Maybe I’ll be very relieved.

I’ve put it off long enough.