In recent days, various presidential candidates have been quizzed on their personal health records. Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, leading other hopefuls to consider releasing their cholesterol level and prescription medications.
I suppose this is important because one of them could spend four years with their finger on the nuclear button.
Still, it made me think. We’re really not that well informed on the physical fitness of other people who have a huge impact on our lives.
Certainly, I want the president to be healthy. But I also hope that mail carriers, truck drivers, and supermarket deli workers are in tip-top shape too. And how about the people at my workplace? We breathe each other’s air every day, yet I’ve never seen the results of their physical exams.
So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will now release a 17-point summary of my health records. After all, you trust me to deliver the news, and you read my columns. You’ve surely wondered if I’m physically competent for these chores. I think it’s time to come clean.
- I’m shrinking. I found my radio broadcasting license the other day, from when I was a teenager. I am now three inches shorter than the height listed on my license. On second thought, that may be because I lied about my height. At the time, I thought I was still growing. It turns out I was done. Oh, and my weight was listed incorrectly too. So now, there are lingering questions about my honesty.
- I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink. When doctors go through their list of questions, they always pause when I tell them this. They’ll say, “Seriously, you don’t drink?” I say no. “But you’re in radio and TV,” they’ll say. “Surely you take a sip now and then.” Again, I say shake my head and say no. They nod and look down as if to say, “Yeah…right.” More doubts about my honesty.
- I take a lot of naps. My wife will testify that I am cranky if I don’t get a nap sometime during the day. I don’t know if Bernie, Biden or Trump take naps, but after watching each of them lose their temper, I think maybe they should.
- My posture is terrible, and I’m flat-footed. My dad always complained about the no-sole shoes I wore, and my mom constantly reminded me to “hold them shoulders up.” Like everybody else, I realized my parents were right, about the time I turned 35.
- I should be the poster child for sun damage. My dermatologist, who I didn’t see until a few decades too late, constantly scolds me for the sins of my youth. That was one thing my parents didn’t complain to me about because they didn’t know any better. I should have been using sunscreen with an SPF in the triple digits.
- I have 20/20 vision. This one’s a mystery. As much TV as I have watched, my eyes should be worn out.
- On the other hand, I spent many years wearing headphones on the radio. That didn’t do my hearing any favors. I was showing off my new watch the other day. A friend said, “What kind is it?” I replied, “It’s about ten after four.”
- I am lactose intolerant. Come to think of it, I’m also intolerant of asparagus, sardines, and “The Bachelor.”
- I have sleep apnea. I use one of those clunky C-PAP devices designed to keep nasal passages open. Without it, my snoring has been known to cause neighbors to report low-flying aircraft.
- I undergo regular colonoscopies. They’re a real blast, if you get my drift.
- I have been known to spend five minutes looking for my belt, before realizing it is around my waist.
- Speaking of my waist, what is it about today’s washers and dryers that make my clothes shrink?
- My food pyramid consists of chocolate, peanut butter, and jelly.
- I still have most of my teeth, despite growing up in a country store, surrounded by free candy bars and soft drinks. I’ve never had TMJ, although I’m pretty sure I helped pay for my dentist’s BMW.
- This won’t show up on a medical report, but I start each week with a Burger King Whopper. I used to feel guilty about this, until I saw my doctor enjoying one too. When we made eye contact, he looked like a puppy, caught chewing his master’s shoes.
- Upon that same doctor’s recommendation, I bought a treadmill. It serves as a wonderful clothes rack.
- Finally, my blood pressure is normal, except on Saturdays. That’s when SEC football is on, and my numbers seem to go through the roof. I’m not the only one, right?
David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.