About a month or two ago, I was at a local restaurant eating a pizza, buffalo wing, chicken-fried steak, burrito appetizer sampler, when I ran into my pal Steve Petty with INTEGRIS Men’s Health.
Probably impressed with my physical appearance and general health, Steve asked how long it had been since I had a physical examination. I think the conversation went like this…
“Patrick, how long has it been since you’ve had a physical?”
“What’s a physical?”
“It’s a routine office visit where…”
“Eh, physicals are for hypochondriacs and losers. Pass the ranch.”
At that point Steve explained the benefits of a physical exam, like how they can provide a general overview of your health, help determine your disease risk, make you feel violated, etc. He then asked me the coolest question in the world.
“Would you want to take an executive physical?”
Without hesitation, I said “Yes.” I did this for three reasons…
1. INTEGRIS Men’s Health is a (FCC disclaimer alert!) proud sponsor of The Lost Ogle and men make up 65% of our reader demographic. We need to keep our readers alive!
2. My uncle – a healthy, active, 50-something year-old – learned he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer following an executive physical late last year. I’ll spare you the specifics, but early detection likely saved his life.
3. I’ve always wanted to be an executive! Seriously, who doesn’t want to live a leisurely life filled with big paychecks, Thunder suites, firm handshakes, boardroom meetings, martini lunches and executive assistants to manage it all? I’ve always wanted to have important meetings like this on the golf course…
Anyway, Steve sent me some paperwork to fill out, and before you could say “turn and cough,” I had an INTEGRIS Executive Physical scheduled bright and early at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center (IBMC) on a Friday morning at 8:00 am. Yeah, that’s right. 8:00 am. I forgot executives have to get up early. Here’s a recap of my day…
When I agreed to the physical, I really didn’t know what to expect. Like most medical visits, I figured it would involve sitting around in a waiting room for a couple of hours reading old Sports Illustrated or watching a pharmaceutical infomercial on the TV.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I arrived at IBMC, my executive physical guide for the day and nicest person on earth, Laura Ashcraft, ushered me to a small meeting room where a very corporate executive breakfast was waiting for me. It included an English muffin, hard-boiled egg, yogurt parfait and cottage cheese. It was a lot better than the Four-Cheese Lean Pocket I usually eat for breakfast. Being an executive is awesome!
After eating and having some executive small talk about what stocks I should include in my stock portfolio if I had a stock portfolio, Laura walked me around the various offices for my pulmonary function test, chest x-ray, and heart scan. Everything was fast, painless and easy. My lungs are solid and my heart scan was a “zero.” They said that was good.
With the lung and heart stuff done, we skipped over to Dr. Earl Elliot’s office for my physical exam. I’m not going to lie. It’s funny to see what looks you get while skipping through a hospital. When he entered the patient room, Dr. Elliot introduced himself and told me his kids read The Lost Ogle. Considering I wasn’t sure if I would be receiving a prostate exam or not, I was very concerned.
Fortunately, I’m only 38 and prostate exams begin at 40. Dr. Elliot then began to poke, prod, review lab work and ask some very personal questions about my health history. He also mentioned mysterious words and phrases like “Metabolic Syndrome,” “BMI” and “Weight Loss.” Outside of constantly being reminded about death, being a doctor must be a great gig. It’s the only job in the world where you get to tell someone they’re fat and need to lose weight and not have to worry about being punched.
After my physical exam, Laura and I drove over to YMCA Healthy Living Center for an exercise consultation and personal training session. Although he was a Texas fan, my trainer Jared Ward was a cool dude. We went through fitness tests, measured my body fat percentage, tested my flexibility and a whole bunch of other things. We then had a brief personal training session where he showed me some basic exercises I could do to improve my strength and stamina. I think he was very impressed that I could do 100 pushups like this…
When that was done, it was time for my first-ever massage. You see, I’m not a touchy feely person and always figured a massage would be awkward and uncomfortable. Boy, was I wrong! Now I know how Regular Jim Traber feels for spending three years saying Russell Westbrook couldn’t be a point guard!! The massage was so soothing and relaxing. Plus, my massage therapist, Susan Hawkins, is a TLO fan. She was really nice and told me I did a good job on the “Whad’ya Know?” a couple of years ago.
Following the massage, I had a dietary consultation with Karen Massey, RD/LD. She frowned upon my controversial fried food, beer and ice cream diet and explained the importance of balanced nutrition, portions sizes and healthy eating. She also laughed at all my bad jokes. She was really nice.
My executive physical concluded with a drive back over to IBMC for lunch with Dr. Elliot. We were served a healthy combination of grilled chicken, asparagus and salad that would make the caterer at any convention hotel proud!
As we set down to eat, Dr. Elliot let me know that he checked out The Lost Ogle following my physical. Usually when people say they read TLO, it’s followed with either a big hug or threat of legal action. Dr. Elliot was professional and did neither. We then spent the rest of the lunch talking about my health, the Thunder, and a whole bunch of other things that I can’t disclose because I’m an executive now. We keep that stuff to ourselves.
In all seriousness, I’d really like to thank INTEGRIS for letting me participate in the Executive Physical program and then write about it. I learned a lot about my health during the experience, and no lie, it’s motivated me to at least consider living a more active, healthier lifestyle. Even if it’s just a “working man physical” or even a $39 INTEGRIS Virtual Visit, I encourage all TLO readers to stay on top of your health. Once again, we need all the readers we can get.