It’s almost a hypochondriac’s dream come true…a chance to be tested for all kinds of physical and health parameters. Fitness tests, dual x-ray absorptiometry for body composition determination, blood pressure, height and weight, urine tests, jogging test on a treadmill with heart monitoring, the works. People pay good money for a raft of tests like this to find out there’s nothing wrong with them. Me, I got recruited (randomly selected via my GP) into the Fenland Study and am expected to attend the MRC facilities at New Addenbrooke’s Hospital next month.
I have to fast from 10pm the night before, wear loose clothing and trainers for the tests and bring along a fully indexed folder with all my meds (okay, it’s not that bad, just a short list, honest). They want to know if you have any X-ray procedures the week before the testing, presumably to avoid giving you a second (unnecessary) dose of radiation in a short time…oh and they ask you to confirm that you’re not pregnant.
In fact, aside from the very scary thought of discovering that I am perfectly fit and well, the worst outcome is that in order for them to attach a heart monitor that you wear for six days after the testing session they will have to shave off a patch of chest hair.
Needless to say, I will let you know how I get on…with the tests, not the shaving.