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Recently it was advised I have minor surgery to correct a medical problem. The surgeon entered the operating theater, scowling, his behavior very odd and unfriendly. I wondered if he might be under the influence, also because he literally looked like a homeless person. His disheveled hair and ridiculously wrinkled clothes looked as if he had just been dragged out of bed against his will. I stared in silent disbelief for about 7 seconds before saying “I would never let someone who looks like you cut into me,” and I walked out. I then arranged for a different surgeon even though he was located 200 miles away and I would be responsible for all travel expenses including airfare.
I am my own best advocate, as you should be too.
Recently also, dressed for a workout afterward, I went to have my stitches removed. The medical tech who took my vitals asked a number of health related questions, including “Do you engage in any exercise?” I replied, “Are you kidding me?” inferring but not saying out loud "Are you blind, lady?" The clueless idiot just sat there not concluding that literally no one my age or even those younger she encounters day-to-day in her job looks more fit than I do.
Some years ago when living in Los Angeles my primary care physician resigned and I interviewed a new one whose medical office was in the heart of West Hollywood, where the number of gym bodies is almost unequaled anywhere else in the world. On my first and only visit, sitting there in my tank top, muscles rippling and having a 7% body fat reading at that time, this moron looked at me with disdain and informed me I was 15 lbs. overweight. I laughed, thinking he was making a joke, but he was serious. “I’m concerned,” he said with fake concern. “According to the chart, a man your height should weigh no more than 170 lbs. You weigh 185. You’re going to have to go on a diet.” I responded “‘The Chart?’ You’re going by some ‘chart’? Bye-bye.” Not too long after I was told he had been diagnosed as bipolar and was under investigation by the California State Medical Board for a history of improprieties.
I keep on top of my health and fitness. I am not at all reticent about seeing a doctor, and I take advantage of every perk my health insurance offers. In the last two years I have encountered about 20 doctors and related medical staff: ophthalmologists, dermatologists, primary care, MRI techs, etc. I see what’s sitting out there in the waiting rooms, people of all ages, most in lousy physical shape, and not one, even people in their 20s, coming anywhere near my level of fitness. Yet of the 20 medical pros who I engaged with, only one ever made any comment as to my exceptional physical condition. One would think that of all people, doctors and medical staff would be most aware of the difference between people like me who do what doctors advise, and the majority who are non-compliant and uncaring of themselves, and might make some positive reinforcement reference to that. Nope. It is not a case of me seeking acknowledgement for doing the right thing, but rather interpreting this as a complete lack of awareness on the part of these "professionals."
What this tells me is that most people are disconnected from their own bodies, not to mention those of others. They are as unaware as they are uncaring. While a minor segment of the population might fixate on Instagram fitness models and movie stars’ transformations, in truth the majority of people are totally checked out. This should be obvious by visiting any Wal-mart store. I don’t think this is due to denial of their terrible condition, as they don’t seem at all aware that they are in terrible condition fitness-wise, or of their obvious diminishing looks and strength, their increasing disabilities, aches and pains and all the rest.
Old people—especially those who are undeniably going downhill fast—have the bizarre ability to convince themselves that everything will turn out just fine somehow without their having to do a single thing to bring about that end.