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If today's column gives any clue I was rushed writing it, it's because I'm getting it done between doctor appointments.

Which ones, I'm not quite sure. After a while, they all sort of blend together in a haze of icy cold instruments and 2-year-old issues of "Outdoor Life."

A quick note here: If one of core concepts of your magazine is to encourage people to enjoy the great outdoors, you might want to pull back a little on the "how to survive a bear attack" covers. I mean, I like trees as much as the next guy, but I know the best way to avoid bear attacks -- don't leave my back yard.

On the bright side, however, the idea of being attacked by a bear makes whatever I'm in the waiting room for seem pretty mild by comparison. So ... specimen jar half full. Which is also a good thing. But I digress.

I also sit and wait, turn my head and cough, feel a little "pressure" and try to figure out how to put on a bathrobe backwards, all in the name of finding out what I already know. Namely that it's now both the years and the mileage that are causing problems.

The difference at this turn of the Great Circle of Life is I need a lot more people to confirm that than I used to.

In the space of a few weeks, I've had someone(s) take the Mr. Freeze version of a blow torch to my face, confirm that I haven't, miraculously, regained my hearing or sight and suggest that if I get tired of using them to walk, my knees could have a role in a Mariachi band.

I've been informed my teeth are fine, but it might be a good idea not to use them quite so much, at least when it comes to a cheeseburger. Or 12.

I also have proof my heart's in the right place, but everything else seems to be shifting in ways that would suggest in the not-to-distant future we might give up on the idea of repair and go right to replace.

I learned all this while finding out I'm pretty healthy, all things considered (and that's a lot of stuff to consider and apparently involves draining me of blood and taking more pictures of my body parts than a Kardashian).

For the rest of the world, it may be spring. For me, it's exam season.

I'm not quite sure how this odd habit of mine came about, but for some reason, I've turned this season of the year into poke and prod time. It's probably just a coincidence, but I am at the age where yearly prostate exams are mandatory and it is tax season, so maybe I wanted to get all the related stuff over at once.

The challenge now is that, while most exams were once fairly innocuous activities akin to getting my car's oil changed, they now carry with them a certain vague element of dread.

While I feel fine, facts on the ground could prove otherwise. And I'm sure most of my upcoming health issues are going to conduct themselves like that line from "The Sun Also Rises" in which a character says he went broke "gradually and then suddenly."

It used to be when your doctor went "hmmm," it meant "so is it medically permissible to say 'hunky-dory' when referring to someone's blood pressure?" Now it could mean "I've never really seen something do that before and, frankly, that can't be good."

At this point, most of my vital statistics are accompanied by the dreaded addendum "for your age," which is sort of the "has a great personality" of medical attributes. And carries with it the inference that, while I can't expect to get any better, there appears to be no real evidence I'm getting any worse.

Which, in and of itself, could be worse. I mean there's a big difference between being told your optimal taco count is two, and should involve a lot more chicken than beef and finding out the abstract concept of an expiration date has become a lot more concrete.

So I'll continue to put up with the poking and prodding and the whirlwind tour of my inner workings the spring brings. Spacing it out wouldn't make it any better and would just distract from my worrying about important stuff.

Like those bear attacks.

Commentary on 04/14/2017

Print Headline: What's up (and down), doc?

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