Going to the doctor is never particularly pleasant for me. But I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time for my annual physical, and there was no getting around it. So I picked up the phone and called for an appointment. "I'd like to see Dr. Shimoya next week, please, if that's possible," I said. Of course, it wasn't possible. The doctor was booked until next month, the receptionist told me. "Okay," I said, "let's schedule it for next month.‚"
When the day arrives, I drive over to the doctor and check-in at the receptionist desk. I have to present my HMO card and pay the co-pay of $15.00. The receptionist instructs me to go to waiting room B, down the hall, first door on the right. So I go there and take a seat to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, my name is called and I go into see the doctor. The nurse weighs me, takes my temperature and blood pressure, and asks me why I'm there. I tell her it's time for my yearly check-up. She tells me to follow her to the examination room, and then to strip down to my underwear. Now I'm sitting on the exam table, half-freezing, waiting for the doctor to show up . Finally, he walks in, looks at my chart, and begins his examination. "Breathe," he says, as he places the stethoscope on my chest. "Breathe in and out slowly," he says. I do so. Then he checks my throat and has me lay down to check my abdomen. Finally, he orders a blood test and says, "Well, you're good for another year, Mr. McQuillan." Thank goodness, I think to myself, and get dressed to leave.