I’ve just had a health check-up, and I’m pretty good. I am very happy about this.

I’m 41. That’s an age where I need to start checking myself for issues that I’d always previously considered “old people” problems. So I went to a doctor and got a good once-over.

Because I’m a fair-skinned guy who’s always had to use lots of sunscreen to keep from frying, and because I’ve lived in countries like Canada and the UK instead of Australia, I checked out OK for the first thing doctors here check: skin tumours. Neither did I have any abdominal lumps, my lungs sound fine, and I don’t have any ongoing problems. My blood pressure was high when the doctor first took it but I had just hiked 15 minutes up a hill to get there; he took it again at the end of my visit and it was perfect.

I could do with shedding a few kilos around the middle, of course. Alright, it’s good to have a goal.

I was more worried about what all the hidden tests would show: the potential problems that you can’t see. But I got my results back today and all is good. My blood biochemistry has everything in the normal range: sodium, potassium, creatinine, protein, etc. My glucose is bang in the middle of normal range. My cholesterols and trigylcerides are all in the healthy target range (which is probably better than normal for western diets). The only exception is my phosphate level, which is just a hair below the target range; on its own, with no other problems, this doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Other tests, which decorum will prevent me from describing, show that I have no signs of any colon problems.

I asked my doctor about prostate issues, but he said that in the absence of any other symptoms – and I have such an absence – they don’t start routinely screening until age 50.

The only problem I’m receiving treatment for is a sore heel, which I’ve had for some months now. X-rays from last week show that I do have a small heel spur (a little growth of bone on the heel, around which the plantar tendon becomes inflamed). A week of anti-inflammatories and a heel cushion haven’t helped. So this morning I got a shot of cortisone in my heel. I should know in 48 hours if that’ll be enough to sort it. I hope it does, as I’m right in the middle of my half-marathon training.

So that’s my health. It’s probably more than you cared to know. But as you get older and less invincible this stuff becomes really important. I’m pretty relieved to know that it’s still looking good.


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