Written by David Vogel Wednesday, 06 June 2007 10:27
As my dad has said, there’s a fine line between genius and idiot, and I’m treading on it.
Not only is that the good attention-grabbing opening statement that I’ve heard so much about in English courses, but it also relates to the fact that I recently confirmed a personal medical issue that, until now, I hadn’t really worried about.
Let me tell you about it.
Within only days of school getting out, free athletic physicals were offered to students for next year’s athletic activities.
Let me clear something up right off the bat: I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, an athlete. When people ask me what I play, I dryly answer “the trombone,” and leave it at that.
But I got the physical anyway, because there is an off chance that next year, feeling bored from the onslaught of easy senior classes I enrolled in, I will decide to play “Athlete” and get on a sports team.
I did this my sophomore year, when a friend (not that I want to point fingers, but her name starts with a “C” and ends with an “ourtney”) convinced me that I should go out for the track team.
I think her reasoning was that she didn’t really want to either, but as long as she was going out, she would drag me down with her. (I should also mention neither of us went out the following season.)
My main event was the 400 Meter Scuttle, where I would get into my version of a starting position, wait for the starting gun, and wet my pants when the gun scared me. Then I would continue the race by trying not to be last.
However, one of my greatest racing moments was the one track meet where I somehow got assigned to run the mile. A mile is four laps around your average track. But when you take into account certain conditions, such as that the weather was approximately negative zero degrees and drizzly, it becomes a one-way wheezing marathon to A-Place-That’s-Not-Very-Nice.
But I digress.
So I was in line for getting my blood pressure taken at my free physical. (I bet you forgot about what I was really talking about. Me, too.) So far I had passed my height and weight test, so I was feeling pretty confident.
I was a little ways back in the line, and was commenting on how “I bet that’s the first time you’ve heard that” when the nurse announced a friend’s blood pressure as “you’re normal.” We made the “you’re normal” joke several times up until my turn. It was my impression that the nurse liked me.
When she looked at my blood pressure reading, all she said was a derogatory “hm.”
“What?” I asked.
“You’re not normal,” she replied.
As it turns out, my initial blood pressure reading was in the 180/80 range.
“When do I die?” I asked.
The nurse concluded that I probably just have “white coat syndrome,” which basically means I get nervous around people with stethoscopes or who are about to check for hernias.
But I disagree. I bet I really do have high blood pressure, even though there are no apparent reasons for this. And this is my big medical breakthrough I mentioned earlier:
My vertebrae aren’t aligned properly.
I found this out several years ago at another school physical that was taken by a chiropractor. After doing the normal physical things, he then proceeded to lay me on my stomach and dig his thumb into my back as deeply as he could, while asking, “Does this hurt?”
“Of course it hurts!” I wanted to yell back.
“You’ve got your thumb so deep into my back that my inny belly button has become an outy!”
But I kept quiet, while he was informing me that something back there in my spinal column was kind of crooked, which was accounting for the fact that my ears, eyebrows, and shoulders are all uneven.
So naturally, after I heard about my high blood pressure, I figured it was out of balance because of my vertebrae, too.
The more I thought about it, the more other little wacky things started to make sense.
For example, my right armpit sweat glands are a whole lot more active than those in my left. At any given point in the day, I could lift up both arms to find my left underarm to be bone dry, while my right has the same atmosphere as a government-protected marshland in August.
It’s obviously the vertebrae! Since my spine is sort of crooked, my body is off balance, sending all my fluids sloshing to the right side of my body. It’s simple gravity.
Come to think of it, my vertebrae could account for several other things, such as the reason why my bowling ball never rolls straight, why I sometimes put my shorts on backwards and why my car pulls to the left something awful.
It seems I keep finding things that are wrong with me, and I really should get everything straightened out. There are several ways that I plan to stop this strange activity. A good first step would be to stop going to school physicals.
UFO: Over 2,500 lefties die each year “using products meant for right-handed people.”
Don’t ask why.