Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Annual Check-up

I finally managed to complete my annual physical exam. The original plan was for me to have it in early December - I had in fact taken a day off for it - but the day before my scheduled physical, I got really sick so I had to reschedule. Thankfully, the hospital was still able to slot me in before the end of the year. It was my first time to have a full abdomen ultrasound and a treadmill stress test. While on the treadmill, I felt some degree of disappointment that I am no longer anywhere close to my peak physical condition that allowed me to run full marathons back in the day. I did manage to get up to stage 4 of the test before having to stop. The nurse told me not many people get to stage 4 but I of course knew that she was just saying that to make me feel a bit better. :)

I got my results this week and they aren't too bad. In fact, there are some results that have improved since 2015 (my cholesterol is within the normal range this year while it was high last year). However, there are some results that indicate that I really need to start living a healthier lifestyle. My treadmill stress test and ECG results say that my heart is working fine so I asked the doctor if that meant I didn't need to worry about heart attacks for now but he said that you these physical exam results aren't really predictive; they just give you an idea of how healthy you are at the point they were taken.

The interesting thing about that trip to the hospital was that I tried looking for the doctor whom I had visited regularly a few years ago to schedule a follow-up consultation. His name was no longer at the door of what used to be his clinic. I asked the receptionist there - it was the same person - where the doctor had gone and she told me that he passed away last year. It was quite sobering to realize that even a doctor in a very good hospital passed away due to a health issue. Given that I haven't been exercising (I do walk a lot but I know I should do more) and that work and life can sometimes become really stressful, I understand that I have to start making better choices with regards to my health and overall well-being. The most important realization from this physical exam is that I really need to start exercising more regularly and eating better (and no, this isn't a New Year's resolution :)) so that I can have a better and longer life.

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