The Dreaded Physical

By Harmid (Own work) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

At our school, sports clubs don’t require a physical while sports teams do. Ironically, that means that my child who plays ice hockey gets a pass on a physical while my child who plays field hockey does not.

I made an appointment for the dreaded physical weeks ago. Since a physical is a well visit, it was impossible to squeeze us in before school started. We got saddled with an appointment in mid-September with the advice to call and check for cancellations.

Fall sports begin at school on August 29, one day after school starts. No pressure, of course.

When I checked the schedule, I noted that tryouts weren’t until after Labor Day. Whew. I figured I’d borrowed some time. No dice: Physical forms are collected in the first week.

That meant that I spent part of today scurrying to find a way to get a physical form completed. I emailed the school nurse and called our pediatrician. The latter told me that I was out of luck. The former told me to check Urgent Care.

I found an Urgent Care center that confirmed they would do a physical for school. When I arrived, I discovered that this was not a novel idea. I watched as the father of a boy about the same age as my daughter shuffled through his not-yet-completed paperwork.  Fortunately, ours was complete on my end. We just needed a few ticks of the boxes from the doctor and a signature.

First up? The eye test. We couldn’t possibly start with something easy. I say this because I am well aware that my child’s eyes are not perfect. She wears contacts and even though she just had a new prescription in spring, she advised last week that she can’t make out faces if they’re too far away. I called and made an appointment for… you guessed it: mid-September.

Somehow she passed the eye test (thank goodness) and the rest of the physical was relatively stress-free. We got the much-needed stamp of approval and our six page (yes, six page) physical form is ready to be turned in.

I was complaining about the whole process after dinner. It feels like such a waste of time because I know she’s healthy. Later, as I was checking through email, my husband read a story in today’s news about a kid who collapsed on the field during practice. He apparently had an undiagnosed heart condition. And just like that, the physical didn’t seem like such an inconvenience after all.

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