That is a phrase I've decided to remove from my vocabulary. Whether it be talking about a routine test for myself, or for someone else, in my experience whenever that phrase is used, nothing ever seems to end routinely.
Take for example my yearly lady doc visit, which included me going in for a routine test. As I get strapped in for my vital checks, I see the nurse look baffled at my blood pressure reading. "190/117? That must be an error, let me manually check it."
Then the manual check results.... 190/123
Meanwhile, I'm freaking out. 190 over 123? Doesn't that mean I'm actually deceased? If I'm deceased, can I have that $50 co-pay back? Am I in heaven? I sure hope heaven isn't a gynecologist's office. I pictured heaven to be a land filled with unlimited fields of cheese pizza and streams of craft beer.... all of which have the calories removed. Kinda like that scene from The Sweetest Thing when he removes all the calories from her ice cream sundae, then he does that other thing... every hour on the hour, ok well yeah. I digress.....
The doctor then comes in to do that test, you know, the routine one. Not mentioning the elephant in the room, that my heart could explode at any second. She gets into lady doctor testing position and says quite possibly the worst thing you could ever say while between a young lady's legs...
"Man, something really wrecked you..."
She was referring to the mosquito bites covering my legs. For the record. Errr, at least I think she was.
Once I remembered the trillion bites I had covering every square inch of my body, I chuckled awkwardly, "Hah, yeah... mosquitos." Really, lady? Let's work on your timing. Although, I think stand-up comedian could be a good backup career path, should this whole doctor thing not work out. Which it might not.
When finished, she then sent me deeper into panic mode when she insisted I see another doctor right this very second before my heart explodes to figure out the blood pressure situation.
Long story short (well maybe not, I think I've already made a short story, long) I am the newest member of society with a high blood pressure prescription. Twenty seven, pretty normal weight unless you're from Australia in which case I'm a plus plus plus sized weight, healthy eater if you ignore pizza benders and days that start with S, exerciser.... like, what?
I even asked the doctor what I should be changing?! His response was to change nothing. I asked if I should stop drinking (lolzzz!)? He said, "Well you're asking a doctor if you should stop drinking." So I took that as a firm no, and like he also thought that was a hilarious question to ask a doctor, or anyone for that matter. Of course you should continue drinking. Red wine is good for heart health. So is jack, jose, miller light, fat tire, naked grape chardonnay, dirty gin martinis (extra dirty, extra sodium just for fun), vodka, fireball... etc and so on.
Apparently it could just be hereditary. Or it could be kidney failure. Or it could be my heart's response to recently googling images of Tim Howard in ESPN's The Body Issue? Who knows.
What I do know is that I now have a high blood pressure prescription. I plan on seeing this as a glass half full. (Half full of low sodium, caffeine free club soda, of course.) Maybe I'll be able to flash my prescription at the movie theatre for the senior discount? Or get into Six Flags for 17 dollars less. Or play two slot machines at once. Or go to Kroger on the first Tuesday of the month for an additional 10% off my grocery bill.
Or who knows.... Maybe I'll never be able to figure out the self-checkout line or my iPhone ever again, and my coffee will never be hot enough.