Marlene Ratledge Buchanen

Today was my physical. I swear I can’t win. I have been trying to give up sugar and gluten again.

I went 15 years without eating gluten, then one day — I ate one. I have been on a voracious rampage for sugar and gluten ever since. They don’t outrun me—they run toward me. Begging to be devoured.
 I have a special prescription for stress, anger, fear, and parenting. Take a pillow, a fresh box of tissues and a 12 pack of Hershey bars into the bathroom. Lock the door. Deadbolts may be needed. The bathroom isn’t even off-limits to the whiners. Lock the bathroom door. Scream into the pillow. Blow your nose. Eat a Hershey bar. If your diet is low in roughage, use Hershey with Almonds. Repeat as often as necessary.

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It really is a great help. Except I need Hershey bars by the 36 count case these days.

“Oh, I see we have gained a little over the past year.” We nothing. Unless you are standing on this scale with me, you ain’t part of this story, sister.

It really makes me mad with the nurse will not accept that I have on 35 pounds of clothes. Yes, I know I am in my underwear and the fat wads are visible to all. My brassier and drawers weigh 35 pounds. Write it down.
“I’d like for you to pee in this cup.” That I can do. I had a baby. My bladder is always ready for action.

“Your pee is a little dark, dear.” Says one of the most annoying people I have dealt with today. “Do you drink a lot of water or liquids?”

I drink at least one pot of coffee a day. Coffee is dark brown. I think that the deep amber color of my URINE is coffee colored. And it is okay to use the big words. I know the real word for pee is urine. Use it.

I have good veins. I throw out an arm and veins pop up eager to be drained. “We need to get some blood work done.” I have met a few phlebotomists in my life time who can take blood without leaving a huge bruise. This isn’t one of them. Vampira hits the vein and blood begins to spurt. At least I like the color purple and I only wear ¾ length sleeves.

The doctor has started on the “You used to be 5ft 5in tall. You have lost some height. You should lose some weight.” I keep trying. It keeps finding me.

Then the annoying nurse came in with the lap results. She handed them to the doctor. I swear she smirked. She still had my blood on her lab coat, though. That did gave me some satisfaction.

“Doctor, here are our lab results.” She didn’t let me stick her with a four inch needle, so it isn’t our anything, heifer.

“Doctor, how are my lard levels? Am I at whipped cream or Crisco consistency?” I get my comment in before either of them can read the report. “You know I am for perfection. I’d like to be a 99.9% pure bacon fat.”

No sense of humor. “You need to lose weight. I want you on cholesterol medication. Drink more water. Bring your blood pressure down.”

“See you next year. Be healthy. Be happy.” All the people in the office smile and wave goodbye.

Dang. 364 more days to humiliation to go.