The president releases his physical, so I should too

The results are in, and President Trump passed his physical in flying colors.  Sure, the doctor said, he could stand to lose a few pounds, and do more exercise, but that is true of most of us.

Being president comes with great intrusions of privacy: we learned his weight, his heart rate, blood pressure, and his list of medications.

As soon as the president’s doctor released the results, he was peppered with tough questions from the White House reporters.  It’s their job to go beyond the “official statement,” and to dig deeper.

They wanted to know about the president’s mental fitness.  According to the doctor, he took a cognitive test voluntarily, and nailed it, scoring a perfect 30 out of 30.

So, it’s all out there for anyone to see.  The president, according to the medical expert, is physically and mentally fit to serve.

This is important, because the commander-in-chief is the guy with the final word, the nuclear code, the ultimate say-so.  Still, it made me wonder.  We’re really not that well informed on the well-being of other people who have a huge impact on our lives.

For instance, I hope that police officers, truck drivers, and supermarket deli workers are in tip-top shape too.  And how about the people at your workplace? We breathe each other’s air every day, yet we never see the results of their physical exams.

Oh, and those reporters shouting out their questions?  They didn’t turn over the results of their physical, did they?

So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will now release a summary of my health records.  After all, you trust me to deliver the news, and you read my stories.  You may have wondered if I’m physically and mentally competent enough to cover the news.  It is time to come clean.

First, the doctors say that mentally, I’m as sharp as ever.  This, despite the fact I sometimes spend five minutes looking for my belt, before realizing it is around my waist. Otherwise, I’m alert, my memory is accurate, and I don’t repeat myself.  I should also point out I’m alert, my memory is accurate, and I don’t repeat myself.

On the physical side, my weight is perfect…if I was about four inches taller.   Speaking of height, I found my radio station license, from when I was 16.  I am now three inches shorter than what it says on that official document.  Come to think of it, that’s because I lied about my height. Back then, I thought I was still growing.  It turns out I had stopped. So now, there are questions about my honesty.

Like the president, I abstain from alcohol and tobacco.  When doctors go through their list of questions, they always doubt my answer.  They’ll say, “Seriously? But you’re on the news. Surely you take a sip, or a puff now and then.” Again, I say shake my head and say no.

They nod and look down as if to say, “Yeah…right.” More questions about my honesty.

My posture is terrible, and I’m flat footed.  My dad had always complained about the no-sole shoes I wore, and my mom constantly reminded me to “hold them shoulders up.” Of course, I realized they were right, about the time I turned 35.

As for my hearing, all those years I spent wearing headphones on the radio didn’t do me any favors. I was showing off my new watch the other day.  A friend said, “What kind is it?” I replied, “Oh, it’s about ten after four.”

I have sleep apnea.  I use one of those C-PAP devices designed to keep my nasal passages open.  Without it, my snoring has caused my neighbors to report low-flying aircraft.

I am lactose intolerant, but that’s not all. I am also intolerant of asparagus, sardines, and reality TV shows.

I undergo regular colonoscopies. They’re a real blast, if you get my drift.

Unlike the president, I don’t eat McDonalds food that often.  My food pyramid consists of chocolate, peanut butter, and jelly.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a regular at Burger King. I used to feel bad about that, until I saw my doctor enjoying a Whopper at the next table.  He looked at me like a guilty puppy, caught gnawing on his master’s shoes.

I still have most of my original teeth. This is a miracle, because I grew up in a country store, filled with candy bars and soft drinks. I’ve never had TMJ, although I’ve certainly helped pay for my dentist’s BMW.

I do use a treadmill.  It makes for a wonderful clothes rack.

Finally, I’m glad to report my blood pressure is normal, except on Saturdays in the fall.  SEC football is on, and my blood pressure skyrockets. I’m not the only one, right?




About David Carroll

David Carroll is a longtime Chattanooga radio and TV broadcaster, and has anchored the evening news on WRCB-TV since 1987. He is the author of "Chattanooga Radio & Television" published by Arcadia.

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