And then I was 40…

I recently turned 40, and as such decided it was time I get a physical.  Middle age has a way of making one sensible I suppose.  There are lots of things I already know, for example the hearing in my left ear isn’t that good.  I am a bit over weight and need to lose a few pounds…or thirty. But there are some things I don’t know.  Such as, are my arteries clogged?  Am I on my way to a heart attack at 49 like my grandfather? Are these floating shapes in my eyes the sign of bad things to come? Am I getting all the vitamins I need?

Besides, the only material thing I really wanted at this point in my life was a Rolex watch. In fact, I had been putting money aside to buy it too.  I wasn’t thinking anything too fancy, just their least expensive model.  Zuimei beat me to it and got me a beautiful one and so I had some money saved up which I no longer needed.  So I decided since the earliest I could book a regular physical was 5 months away, I would pay to get a complete physical.

Also known as “Executive” physicals these are comprehensive and thorough health checks, not the tap on the knee and blood test you usually get. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame doctors they get a pittance from the government for doing physicals so there is no real incentive.  If you think about from a long term perspective you’d think the government would be interested in comprehensive health assessments, we know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; even if they only did it once every 5 years.

medcanThere are several places which do executive physicals in Toronto. A simple Google search and you can find most of them.  I chose Medcan Clinic.  Partly because I liked their website but mostly because my physiotherapist mentioned them when I was complaining about the 5 month wait for a regular one.

I called them for more information and received a callback within 24 hours.   Now the fellow I spoke to was pushing hard for the executive health plan they offer which allows access to their physicians and easier referrals for a year for another $600, but I said I only go to the doctor when I’m injured or for a physical so I wouldn’t get much benefit from it.

The normal cost of the Comprehensive Health Assessment is $2,545 but given that I work for a large financial institution I got a discount.  Included in the assessment was: a physical exam, hearing test, eye test, flu shot, lab tests, lung test, Electrocardiogram stress test, nutritional assessment, abdominal ultrasound, PSA test, Fitness appraisal and ankle brachial index.  Obviously there are different tests for women and the elderly.  All this is rounded off with a consultation with a physician to go over your results.

I also added the men’s health assessment, mole mapping and a proper eye exam.  Believe or not up until this point I had never had an eye exam.  These cost extra, but I figured since I got the discount and just turned 40 I would spend the extra money. Besides they combine it with the health assessment so it is all taken care of on one day.

So I looked online to see what I could expect and to be honest nothing really did it justice.  The videos on the site are basically customer testimonials and descriptions of what each test is.  And even then, they can be a little vague. Nowhere does it explain what actually happens so I thought I would describe it in case anyone else is thinking of going.

More in the next post…

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