Having reached the ripe old age of seventy in January I decided that I would have a full medical check up whilst in Penang. Why? Because the medicine is excellent here, the hospitals are a pleasure to be in, they are well staffed, clean and efficient – and best of all no waiting. OSF (old school friend) and I signed up for the Geriatric package. Didn’t like the name much! The marketing people might look at that (!), but it contained everything. Heart, lung, liver, spleen and organs in my body I didn’t even know the name of, let alone where they were located. We had to fast from 10pm the night before and only have water in the morning before going to the hospital. But as we had to be there at 8am, there was hardly time for a margarita anyway!
On arrival, we were ushered into a large air conditioned room. Our files were waiting for us and we were weighed, blood taken and body mass and bone density done. The next bit I thought was brilliant. It is a big hospital and rather than have delays, you are taken by messenger, (she carries your file) from place to place, ie you never get lost! OSF and I were both having the works. One of the tests was on the bladder. You had to drink a lot of water – that really was really the worst bit. They couldn’t do the scan until you had a full bladder, so we sat by the water dispenser drinking pints of water and reading our books, trying to get the timing right. It was a close call! I must say I was slightly amused when I finally made it to the loo because it had a diagram in the cubicle showing you how to sit on it! I didn’t have my camera with me otherwise I would have photographed it for you. After dozens of tests, x rays and scans, we were finished.
It was miraculously lunch time and we had just an hour before going back to the consultant to get the reports. Down we went to the lobby where there was a coffee shop, a cake shop and a place where you could eat local food. OSF who was feeling as if she needed a sugar injection, had a Pavlova and cream. I just had a ciabatta – I was worried about my body fat.
Back we went to see the doctor. Both of us were given clean bills of health. I whooped with joy when the doctor told me I was a kilo under obese! Preventative medicine is the key in my mind. And the cost of the whole exercise? About a £180. Try getting that at the London Clinic!
OSF and I were both so delighted with our clean bills of health (and the fact that neither of us were clinically obese) that we decided to celebrate with a couple of cocktails at our favourite watering hole on the beach. Three cocktails each later – in my case margaritas – and some delicious Indian spicy wedgies with lime mayonnaise and hot-from-the-oven veggie samosas, we wobbled home happy in the knowledge that we were really healthy.
Take care of yourselves girls…
Happy travels, BPG x