They are called 'routine' medical tests and examinations, one would imagine, because they are....well...routine. They happen at regular intervals not because of something suspicious but because they are the inconvenient intrusions to which we regularly submit all in the name of well being. These annual excursions into medical phenomena can be routine only to the staff performing them. And those well intentioned, attentive and kind professionals intent on the minutiae of their pursuits surely have not one solitary clue about the scrutiny given to their every movement and expression. Otherwise why would the technician have paused and cleared her throat as she studied my film? Pondering, perhaps, justification for the extra taco eaten at lunch, her second of reflection put in motion my life review and desperate promises of mended ways if only....if only what? If only she hadn't cleared her throat? If only I had walked more or eaten less? If only I had written all of those best sellers? If only I had said I love you more often than several times a day? Forget the quiet logic telling me that she does not read the film but only examines it for clarity before sending it on to someone, unseen by me, who actually does read it and call my fate. She paused and cleared her throat.
I now see another value to these annual, routine medical 'things' beyond information essential to physical well being. At regular intervals we get to scream with every molecule of our beings that life is precious and we want it so badly that we will eat less and exercise more and write regularly and say I love you with every breath -- at least for the rest of the day.
And maybe tomorrow we'll turn down that extra taco, too.