A long while ago, I went for a health screening, because work paid for it and I fancied finding out what was wrong with me. A lot later, they finally sent me the report, which had some gems in it like “your heart rate is abnormal” and “your lung function is bad but the test is unreliable”. There was also something there about a test result where I should go and see my doctor. I felt that was a bit lacksadaisical – shouldn’t the facility where they run medical tests be able to tell you what it is, rather than pass the buck to somebody else, but never mind, it’s always enjoyable for me to visit my GP and be told I’m close to death.

So today he looked at the results, and told me the test result I should see him about I should probably go back to the health screening facility and tell them they’re not storing their samples properly, because it didn’t make sense and wasn’t anything to worry about. Apart from somebody contaminating something. So that was nice.

Then we looked at my abnormal heart rate. It’s abnormal because I’ve got a resting heart rate of about 45 bpm, because, I don’t know, maybe doing lots and lots of running does something to your circulatory system. Of course, there are no unalloyed goods in medicine; if your resting heart rate is low, and if you exercise and it doesn’t go up, then that may indicate Something is Bad. Oh, the smile on my doctor’s face as he regaled me with the possibility of pulmonary hypertension, feet swelling and shortness of breath.

Then he looked at the treadmill heart rate report, which shows my heart rate goes up when I exercise. So all is clear, and that’s fine, and you then have to ask yourself, what exactly is the good of a health screening where they say “You should be worried about this … except you shouldn’t. Carry on!” I suppose somebody has to use a rubber stamp somewhere.

I skipped out of the doctor’s office, revelling in the new feeling of going to see a medical practitioner and being told there was nothing wrong with me. For once my immune system is robust while my wife and daughter are sick. All is well with the world. (Well, apart from them being sick, I guess. But me, me, me!)

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