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  • Kristan Higgins

Turn your head and cough

Updated: May 3, 2022


I had a doctor’s appointment this week, which as you know is thrilling for me. I feel so special. I got weighed (no comment) and measured. Still five-foot-eight, no matter how much I want to be five-foot-nine. Blood pressure, one of my strengths, was nice and low. “I could be your poster child for blood pressure,” I offered. Heart rate was also slow and steady because I was feeling chill.

And then came the fun. Dr. H., a smiling woman with lovely green eyes, and the actual exam. Since I am me, I had several diagnoses for her. “I think I need to be put into a medically-induced coma,” I said. “I’m a little tired.”


“Getting more sleep also works,” she said.

“Please?” I said. She held firm.

I was not deterred. “Also, I have a brain tumor. My left pupil sometimes dilates more than the right. It’s always after I struggle with my contacts.”

“It’s probably your contacts and not a brain tumor.”

“Can you check anyway?”

So she gamely did the eye-tracking test (aced it!) and checked my reflexes (I have them!).

She once again patiently explained that I do not have Lou Gehrig’s disease. She asked after my broken ankle and laughed when I told her it passed the slutty shoe test.

“Do you want a flu shot?” she asked.

“Yes!” I said like she’d just offered me a jumbo-sized Snickers.


The nurse wanted to draw blood, but it was 10:30 a.m., and I’d guzzled some coffee and an English muffin. I’m not the “skip breakfast” type.

So guess what? I get to go back next week.


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