A Day Getting An Impromptu ‘Master Health Check’ Done And How It Changed My Life After

The thing with being jobless is that you have a lot of time to run errands and check things off your to-do list that you didn’t before. Plus it makes you feel productive.

So, in the 2 months that I had after I quit my job, I decided to go for a full body health check. After years of putting my body through neglect, even abuse, and experiencing frequent headaches, I knew there had to be something amiss inside. Heck, did I have lung cancer because of that occasional drag?

So, after a bit of research, (a tweet basically), I ended up at Apollo (Inc.), which happens to be closest to my house. 

Having got a couple of these full body checks done, I knew I had to start fasting 12 hours before the scheduled test. So, I forgoed my post-dinner dessert and early morning snack and reported at 8 dot at Apollo.

Of course Apollo had “packages” even for health checks. There was the “Basic Master Health Check’, and then there were the “Super Master Health Check”, “Super Woman health heck”, “Pre marital health check” (?!?), and many other permutations and combinations of the same and you could always customise one according to your needs. (or fears)

Why, I even got a 10% off my selected ₹ 7000 package. Now only if they’d give me a further discount for tweeting about them too! 

So, from the get go, I was assigned a semi-dedicated assistant who’d take me from one test room to the other. I had my blood taken out into 3 vials (after I duly fainted for a few seconds), peed into a cup, and took a rain check on the stool test. (No shitting, literally.)

After half my tests were done, I was given a breakfast coupon with a sweet note “you deserve food after having fasted so long!” It was also probably the first time after leaving Google that I’d got a free buffet breakfast, and at a hospital at that. So I belted those sandwiches, dosas, cut fruits and downed 3 cups of coffee for good measure. 

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The said assistant chaperoned me into a X-Ray room next where I slipped into those cute but depressing hospital gown thingies. This was followed by an ultrasound where I could see a baby-less tummy on a blur of a screen that seemed to make a lot of sense to the attending doctor.

Though all my mental mirth turned into a moment of trepidation when it was time to disrobe and bare it all to the gynaecologist, who thankfully was a woman. So here I was lying naked on a hospital bed, with two strange women doing their thing, while the doctor just shoved something long and pointy into my privates like NBD. “Are you sexually active?” she asked. Wow, thanks for the judgement doc! Or not, as she calmed sat with me and gave me a lowdown on safe sex and sexual loyalty. 

Though, probably the most embarrassing moment of the day came not at the gynaec’s bed, but in the dietician’s room. “You have extremely high levels of cholesterol and fatty deposits on your liver”, she cooed. Wtf does that even mean? I’d known heard of cholesterol being thrown around in the ads for cooking oil where a kind looking 50 something woman loses sleep over her paunch-ridden husband’s diminishing health. How did I – a reasonably healthy eating 28 year old have what old people with paunches do? “You need to stop eating fatty, oily and spicy food”, she said as I thought to all those times I didn’t really go easy on the French Fries or said no to the chocolate brownies, and handed me a ready booklet on the cholesterol foods to eat. Soaked almonds, leafy vegetables, coloured fruits, 3 litres of water, flax seeds (?). That’s not so bad I thought. Isn’t that the most cliched form of recommended diet anyway?

“No maida or ghee“, she added just as I was beginning to calm down. Noooo! The pasta-loving Maarwari in me squealed. No maida and ghee meant no pasta, no momos, no Maggi and definitely no rotis with dollops of ghee floating in their crevices. What would I even do now? But it could’ve been worse I told myself. After the final session with general physician where thankfully I was declared a reasonably healthy person save for a bad “cholesterol.” At least I didn’t test positive for Dengue or hell, Cancer.

“You must exercise for at least 45 minutes a day”, words that still echo in my sleep-loving, ass parking self as I struggle to clock 30 minutes circumnavigating my apartment complex, or trying to get that Lotus position right watching Shilpa Shetty kick ass doing it. A month after the test, and my life’s changed, probably for the better. White bread has been replaced with brown multigrain bread, regular pasta has been replaced with wheat pasta, and dinner if any means dry rotis and veggies.But if 20 years down the line if I don’t have to get a liver transplant, or worse need help for getting onto a bar stool, I think it’s worth it.

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