Yesterday I looked up the date for my yearly physical with my primary care physician. As anyone who is on Medicare knows, there are rules and some of the rules defy logic. One of those rules dictates that this year’s physical can be no sooner than one year and a day from the date of the last one. So after my last year’s physical, I set the date of this year’s scheduled exam. The date was set on December 1st. I didn’t realize when I made the appointment that the date and time fell on a Thursday morning.
On Thursday mornings I meet with a group of ladies on zoom where we discuss and reflect on the current religious study that we are undertaking together. Over the last few months our group have been watching a set of videos from Fr. Dave Pivonka entitled “Metanoia”. Since I didn’t want to miss the zoom meeting on the 1st of December, I telephoned the doctor’s office to re-schedule my appointment. That shouldn’t have been a problem, but it was. The next available appointment for a physical exam would be in September – 10 months from now. I was offered an appointment with the doctor’s PA but was so frustrated that I just canceled the appointment and refused the offer to make another one. Why is it, you might ask? Let me explain.
The physical exams, while my insurance recommends them, seem like a waste of time. This is how the procedure unfolds – the doctor’s nurse calls me into the office after I have been waiting a while in the reception area, has me step on the scale and records my weight and blood pressure. We then proceed to the examination room where she asks me about my current medications – those prescribed and those over the counter – and enters those on the computer. The next part of the process requires me to answer a few questions, such as how I am feeling? have I been ill the last year? have I fallen? and questions similar to those. The process with the nurse takes about 5 minutes. Then I am required to wait for the doctor to come in. I usually have a book with me to read while I am waiting.
The doctor comes in after a few minutes, listens to my heart, palpates my neck and/or my abdomen, sometimes looks in my ears or my mouth and may repeat some of the questions I have already answered. The doctor may have already looked at the computer where the nurse had entered my information or does so when I am present. Then the doctor asks if I have any concerns or questions for her. The part of the process with the doctor takes another 5 minutes. The doctor may recommend some blood tests which are usually obtained elsewhere. Then the doctor escorts me to the receptionist where I make an appointment for the following year’s physical. It takes more time to drive to the clinic and back home again, and wait, at various points in the process, than the actual physical examination. Still, I am grateful for the yearly opportunity to check out “my health”.
Later that same day that I had canceled my appointment, my husband received a call from the health insurance company offering him a “physical” at a local pharmacy which the insurance carrier would set up. This is a new service being offered. Since my husband had already completed his yearly physical, I was able to speak with the agent from the insurance company. After speaking for a few minutes and learning the procedure for the pharmacy “physical’, I opted to set up an appointment on December 7th, as this was the most convenient day currently available.
What I found remarkable about the events which I have described is that although I couldn’t attend the appointment for this year’s physical which I had set up last year, God made sure that I have the opportunity to have one. We often say that our God takes care of us. We don’t often think about God’s daily concerns for us; we just expect that everything will work out as we had planned. When our plans fall through, it appears that our loving God steps in and takes control of the situations, so that events work out for our benefit. And sometimes, even someone like overly emotional me notices His loving care and is grateful for it.