Do You Feel Like You're Being Punished?

This morning I had a physical. I haven't had one in a couple years, and since I'm into middle-age, they want to check on a regular basis to make sure you're not doing anything that might be considered fun anymore.

You know the drill. The first thing they have you do is check your weight, and I was down about five pounds from the last visit. They also checked my height and I should have noticed at that moment that this wasn't going to go well. I measured out at 5' 11" instead of 6'0". My old football coach listed 6'0" on the program years ago when I was in high school, so that's what I've always gone by. I conclude I must be shrinking slowly with age. 

Next up, the liquids lady who comes in and takes your blood. She does a good job, hitting the vein on the first try, so she's done rather quickly. She hands me two items I don't recall from past physicals, two questionnaires. The first is about the potential for alcohol abuse. My first thought is to wonder whether or not they give this to everyone or if I've been "randomly chosen to participate" like I usually am. 

The questionnaire is your normal "do you drink too much?" bunch of questions, or at least that's what it looks like to me. I, of course, lie all the way through it, because they have a much different opinion of what drinking too much is than I do, especially during football season. 

Did you know having five drinks at one time is considered binge drinking? You ever wondered how they arrived at five? It's not because some doctor somewhere got a grant and studied alcohol abuse amongst all sorts of people, it's because the doctor or the group of doctors that was involved in making this decision involved females and the last thing females want is to have males get away with anything. 

The easiest way to stop males from getting away with anything is to set a trap so they're caught before they know what's happening. Hence, the number five, as in "You mean, you drank the WHOLE six pack of beer?" If you did, then by definition you're a binge drinker without even realizing it. Then you're forced to lie on these questionnaires to get yourself out of the trap. That's not unreasonable, it's just common sense. 

Next up is a mental health questionnaire. Again I wonder if they give this to everyone or if I'm special because of the way I look, which is deranged, even when sleeping. 

I take a look at it, and I'm going down through the list of questions that include what seems like normal stuff: 

- Do you feel guilty? 

- Do you feel sad? 

- Do you feel happy? 

The next one on the list, however, catches me by surprise: 

- Do you feel like you're being punished? 

I stare at it for a minute. I've never really thought about it. Do I feel like I'm being punished.....  Mrs CN has reminded me that I take this whole Nebraska football thing a little too personal, but at this moment I have to wonder...... Do I feel like I'm being punished? 

Who am I kidding? Eight turnovers, seven points and losing at home for the first time in 32 years to Iowa State? You're damned right I feel like I'm being punished, so I go ahead and check that, yes, I feel like I'm being punished. 

Then there's one that asks about suicide. During last week's game I'm pretty sure I thought about killing someone else at least once, but given that I'm too nice to inflict suffering on someone else, it would have to be myself. I answer - "I've thought about suicide, but I would never carry it out" - thinking that's a pretty reasonable answer. 

- Do you get agitated more easily than you used to? 

And I'm thinking, why, yes, I do get more agitated than I used to because I don't recall our offense ever sucking this badly. I remind myself of the eight turnovers and seven points, and I'm agitated. It didn't take much. 

- Do you feel like you get less joy from things that you used to? 

Now it's like they're after me, and I'm hitting for the fences. I scratch out their standard answers, and write in "_)#(*!@#!!!! no, I'm not. In fact, I haven't felt as much joy as I used to since 2001. Glad you finally noticed, you #$(#$&((@@#$'s!!!!  #$## you and the horse you road in on. Why the )*(#$#$ didn't you ask me this after Frank Solich was fired????? #$#)$(* #$)(##$ @!#$0!!! 

I finish the rest of the questionnaire as reasonably as I can. I put it down. I practice breathing calmly because I know I'm going to have to answer questions about my blood pressure. I think of the 1995 offense. I am calm. 

After the blood pressure interrogation, I explain that I've lied my way all through these questionnaires and there is no reason for us to review them. The doctor asks about my alcohol abuse, to which I respond "if Nebraska has eight #@*^$#*%$_) turnovers this weekend, I'm going to be an alcoholic by December" and this quickly ends the discussion. 

After that we skip the mental health questionnaire and go straight to the normal things you experience during a physical - the jabbing, poking, prodding and the "turn your head and cough" bit. In a little while, we're done and it's time to go. I smile at the doctor and nurses, that kind of "I'm normal" smile, and they smile back, and we're all happy normal people in a happy normal relationship even though I feel like I've been violated in ten different ways beyond those I've already listed. 

It occurs to me while I'm driving to work that someone else besides my doctor will later read through the questionnaire, or just as bad, it'll get discovered later after I've become famous for one reason or another. Maybe I'll accidentally injure someone at a Husker game and this will come out as proof that I've been deranged all along, how could the "system" have missed it when it was so obvious, and I'll be trapped in a media circus that will destroy me, my family and everything I've worked for. 

No one will ever know or care it's all because I chose to get a physical the week after a demoralizing Husker football loss.  

That explains why I'm writing this. I consider it a public service announcement - don't be getting a physical the week after a bad Husker loss. It sounds innocent enough, but it does all sorts of bad, nasty things to your health. Just wait a week....... or two. Maybe three. 

Ah, hell, maybe just to be safe you should avoid your doctor during football season. It could save your life. 

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