Since becoming a “woman of a certain age” September has taken on a whole new meaning. I’m reminded of this as I sit at my desk, which suddenly has become strewn with postcards I’ve received from the medical community reminding me that it’s once again time to check in for a check-up.

I commented on this four Septembers ago, with an essay called High Maintenance, which is as appropriate today as it was then.  Therefore, I am reposting, with some revision.  And due to the increase in the number of post cards, I call this one Higher Maintenance.

This will be short and sweet because I have to run off to a doctor’s appointment.  I don’t remember if it’s the dermatologist or the opthalmologist.  I’ll have to consult my calendar so I don’t wind up waiting an hour in the wrong office.

I also have to check my wallet to make sure I replaced my insurance card after the last doctor’s visit, and that I have cash, check, or credit card for the co-pay.

Oh, and I’d better verify the status of my underwear, just in case today’s appointment turns out to be with the gynecologist.

I used to look forward to the end of summer.  I happily anticipated the cooler weather and the fact that my children were returning to school.  Now, summer’s end has a whole new meaning.  It has turned into check-up season.

My car also receives regular check-ups.  But I take it to one place and they examine all the moving parts.  People, on the other hand, are required to see specialists.  Hence, I’m spending the equivalent of an entire month rotating among medical offices.

I don’t think it’s my imagination, but with every passing year the maintenance lists seems to grow longer.  This year, due to shoulder surgery, I added an orthopedist.  Last year I added a retinologist, who, after the exam, suggested I see my opthalmologist who forwarded me to an optometrist.  I also added a cardiologist.  Or was that the year before?

Some visits I don’t mind so much.  For example, seeing the dermatologist is definitely less stressful than a visit to the gastroenterologist.  After all, the only preparation required is that I remove my makeup, rather than the contents of my intestines.

The radiologist’s office was kind enough to send me a letter to remind me it was time for my annual mammogram.  I’m not sure whether I will squeeze that in (pun intended) before or immediately after I see the dentist.

I also have a podiatrist on the payroll, but he had his turn last month.  The periodontist shall have to wait until next month.   And I better get to that orthopedist before he leaves for vacation.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining, only observing.  I’m grateful that, so far, all outcomes have been good.  And I shall continue to do what it takes to keep it that way.  I just don’t understand how someone who feels so young could have body parts that are apparently so old.  Except of course, for my left shoulder, which is brand new!

Those of us with connections to Florida haven’t had too much to smile about over the past 10 days.  Even though I was fortunate enough not to actually be there, I was concerned about all my friends who are, and of course, about the vulnerability of our home.  I’m pleased to say that those I know are safe, albeit in various stages of inconvenience as the power slowly returns.  And our house still stands.  We are all very lucky.  And we must not forget those who didn’t fare as well.

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