Getting From Point A To Point B

Recently I learned that I am still able to get from point A to point B–literally.

It happened at the doctor’s office, where I went for my pre-physical assessment tests. As I entered the interior part of the office, the nurse stopped me and pointed down at the floor, where a circle with an “A” in it had been affixed to the surface.

“We’ve added a new test for you,” she explained cheerfully. “It’s called a gait test, and it helps us to determine if you are at increased risk of falling. We will need you to walk from point A here just down to the hall to point B,” she added, indicating another circle on the floor about 10 feet away. So I walked from point A to point B while the nurse timed me, all the while resisting the urge to run down the hall like a football player doing a wind sprint and set a new “gait test” record, just to show that I am not only not at risk of falling but there’s life in the old boy yet.

After I went from point A to point B, I learned from the friendly nurse that another new test had been added to my routine exam: a “grip test.” In this test, I was handed a metal object and told to squeeze it, repeating the process three times with each hand while the nurse took readings of my grip strength. I tried to give the device a good squeeze, hoping to register results somewhere above the “feeble old guy” level.

So the “gait test” and the “grip test” have been added to the testing mix, making a visit to the doctor’s office a grim reminder of the indignities of old age, when a tumble could break a hip and opening a jar becomes increasingly difficult. What’s next? Using calipers to measure the sagginess of neck skin to determine whether you’ve sunk down to turkey wattles level?

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