Diversity of Life

11. The Closing Talk

Amber packed up her things and put everything in her bag. Then she looked around and made sure she hadn't forgotten anything. No towel holder? thought to himself, then folded it neatly. The air had gotten a little damp from the shower, but that didn't particularly bother Amber. At least she had been able to freshen up, because that had been badly needed. She dared a quick look in the mirror and was glad that she hadn't put on make-up this morning. All the better, she thought. The bun was also in place. What will be discussed next, she thought to herself. Amber knew it was going to be heart. But somehow it just didn't seem to bother her. The feeling that the whole thing would end here was just too nice.

Amber hesitated. She was unsure whether she would not have come to the meeting too early. She hadn't noted the time when Dr. Karmann had shown her the shower room and now had to rely on her internal clock. More and more thoughts followed. Who will she meet in the exam room? Are both doctors already waiting there? Amber paused and listened. In doing so, she perceived her own heartbeat without feeling it, which she otherwise never felt. Her excitement rose again. She heard footsteps, voices, doors. Did these noises come from the next room? she wondered. She wasn't sure. It could also all be noise from the hallway, maybe the lobby as well. It's now or never, she said to herself and went to the connecting door, touched the knob on the lock and opened it carefully. She heard that there was a person in the room. It was Mrs. Schenke.

"Come in," she said as she turned to Amber. Amber, however, was relieved that she didn't find an uncomfortable situation and that there was only one familiar person in the room. "Have a seat here at the desk, the doctor will be here shortly!" Mrs. Schenke pointed to one of the two chairs in front of the desk. "Yes, thanks," Amber said. She carefully entered the room again. Mrs. Schenke seemed to be busy with the table. As Amber approached the chair, doubts overcame her. Wasn't that table unused when Mrs. Karmann led me through this room? she wondered as she placed her bag on the left chair. Then she sat down in the empty seat next to it. She wasn't sure what was happening in that room while she was taking a shower. But at the moment it was no longer important to her. She was undecided about who would have this conversation now. If, as Mrs. Schenke said, it should only be a doctor, then Dr. Be Winkelmann, she thought. She could no longer see what Mrs. Schenke was doing in the examination room. She sat with her back to her and heard her open a door. It must have been the connecting door to the examination room, she thought and heard voices from the room and the noise that reminded her of the ergometer. Someone must be sitting on it, she was sure and now she also heard labored breathing. Only a beeping, as it was with her, she did not hear. Funny, Amber thought while looking at the items on the desk. This seemed tidy and clean. There was no medical equipment on it.

After the door was closed again, it became a little quieter in the room. But she was able to identify the noises from the next room and clearly heard that someone was being examined there. Busy here, she thought. How the person feels now, they imagined and remembered the feeling of being over it now. All these touches on her body seemed very intense to her. Even if her shame remained hidden during the entire examination, the touch on her upper body seemed very intimate. Amber's heart was pounding at the thought of being listened to. Again and again. She couldn't forget the feel of the membrane on her body today. And then the blood pressure cuff, which felt like a grip and completed the loss of control during the exam. Was it that bad now? Amber thought to herself. She felt a touch of comfort as she recognized her heart.

Something seems new, she thought. Just what might it be? Amber looked around. At that moment she perceived the examination room very differently than usual. The objects inside preoccupied her much more. Was it the lounger? On the white of the facility? On the cables on the trolley on the table? A tingling spread, Amber's excitement rose again. She couldn't place the feeling. She was already familiar with such a practice as a child, and yet the feeling was completely different today, much more exciting. And now, while she sat here and waited, she felt it very intensely. A feeling of warmth came over her now. Amber felt the need for more. She longed for touch and pressed her folded hands in her lap. She hadn't expected such feelings in a place like this. It's almost like wishing she could kiss a boy. Touching him while doing it. To feel how he holds her, to feel his big hands on her upper body and to surrender to him. Her fantasies took over her thoughts more and more. Amber didn't forget where she was, but she relished the feeling. It didn't bother her at all, even though she was in a doctor's office.

The next moment the door opened and Dr. Winkelmann entered the room. "So," he commented on his appearance, closed the door behind him and went to the desk. Amber shook off every naughty thought and didn't show anything. She smiled briefly and looked up quickly, watching as Dr. Winkelmann took his place on the opposite side of the desk with some documents. Then he looked briefly at Amber. "Good results, first of all." He laid out the papers and seemed to consider briefly how to begin. Immediately Amber's palms began to get wet again. Discussing the whole physical again in detail made her a little uncomfortable. Actually, she didn't want to anymore and wished to be released into freedom. The sun was shining outside and she would just like to go for a walk. But she still had to get through this. That was clear to her. She tensed up a bit and sat very stiff in her chair. She clenched her hands tightly in her lap. Whether she didn't care if Dr. Winkelmann noticed this.

"Now you've made it firstly," smiled Dr. Winkelmann to her. Amber lifted the corners of her mouth slightly. But ‘firstly’? Amber thought and wondered what he meant by that. "The full blood count shows no abnormalities," Winkelmann continued. “The cholesterol values ​​are correct so far. Here we check two values ​​and compare them, but everything is fine.” Amber knew that the term was about deposits in the blood vessels. But she never associated the term with herself. Her mother occasionally spoke of relatives who had problems with it. But they were a lot older. That just made her feel safe. They must be all right, she thought, I'm still quite young. "The liver and kidney values ​​are also good," interrupted Dr. Winkelmann Amber's thoughts while looking at his evaluation. "The ferritin value is okay, as are almost all vitamin values." Winkelmann looked at Amber. “A low ferritin value shows us whether there is an iron deficiency. Only the vitamin B12 value is a bit low. Winkelmann made sure by looking at the documents and then looked up again. "Yes. The value is a little below the norm.” Amber looked indecisive. "And what does that mean?" Amber asked. “A lower value can lead to the energy metabolism slowing down or blood cells not being reproduced as quickly. People who suffer from it often break out in a sweat or have a racing heart.” Amber listened carefully and nodded. The word palpitations suddenly reminded her of the previous examination. Just don't talk about the heart anymore, she thought and hoped to get through the more unpleasant topics quickly without further questions.

“Weakness can also be a sign from time to time. However, echocardiography yielded no further findings in this direction. Vitamin B12 is found in dairy products, but also in meat, fish and eggs. With a supplement, the household in the body can be balanced well.” The doctor gave her a smile and turned back to the documents. Amber listened, but words like tachycardia or echocardiography triggered a renewed sense of shame. The exams weren't bad, but talking about them and remembering just being checked shirtless by the man she was sitting in front of made her uneasy. Amber knew she didn't stand a chance. Since up to now only the blood count has been addressed, it was not very unlikely that the other embarrassing examinations would not be addressed immediately. And so it happened.

"Let's talk about the physical examination. There weren't any abnormalities here either.” Well, thought Amber, then we can skip that right away. “The weight is within limits, there are no bad postures. During the physical, however, I noticed that your pulse was quite high.” Shit, Amber thought and noticed how her pulse shot up again. "You were a little nervous during the exam, I can understand that," continued Dr. Winkelmann and took a quick look at the documents again. Your blood pressure was also a little higher.” I hope he doesn't look up or ask why I was so excited, Amber thought at that moment. "I didn't hear any abnormal heart murmurs when I listened." Winkelmann looked up again. It went through Amber like a bolt of lightning. She had feared this situation. Again she felt her heart pounding in her body. Now he's talking about it. How embarrassing, she thought and was sure her face was red at that moment. "The heart sounds were ok so far," the doctor added. Amber felt how warm not only her face was, but it was the case again on her palms. So she couldn't shake hands with the doctor when saying goodbye. Moist as they are, Dr. Winkelmann feel how excited she was until the end. She looked down at them again. She saw the door in the corner of her eye. If I could stop time now, I would quickly walk out the door and no one would notice, she fantasized. They instinctively had thoughts of escaping, but quickly got it under control. Meanwhile, she watched as Dr. Winkelmann put his papers in order. He grabbed what appeared to be several pages of paper, unfolded it lengthwise, and laid it in front of him.

"Let's talk about the EKG." Oh, no, Amber thought. She was now more crouched in her chair than sitting relaxed. There was no more talk of an upright posture. She snuggled up against the right armrest and sat there rather tensely. “The heart curves also show a normal progression. Basic rhythm and frequency look good. Winkelmann looked at the paper, hesitated briefly and continued. "Sinus rhythm, extrasystoles, everything ok. No tachycardia.” Dr. Winkelman looked up. “A typical normal finding. So the way it should be!” He smiled, folded the sheets back into their original state and looked at Amber for a moment. She was startled and felt caught. Actually unnecessary when I'm fine, she thought. "Ok," she pressed out of her lips and returned the look of the doctor expectantly, who took a new sheet of paper in his hand. “The situation is similar with a stress ECG. Everything is fine here too. Do you like jogging?” the doctor looked up briefly. Again Amber was startled. "Me?" she heard herself say and was annoyed at the inappropriate question at the same time. "Yes, at least twice a week," she answered quickly, trying to somehow salvage the situation. She caught the Doctor's gaze. He too must have noticed that something was wrong here. However, he continued confidently. “Here again, the physical reactions to the stress levels correspond to the normal case. We could now analyze the time for a run here in detail. This would require a few more entries from you, but we can do that next time. Anyway, your training seems spot on. The load is perfect.” Next time? Amber looked at the doctor in amazement, who looked at other values. She didn't quite understand what was being said. Is this supposed to happen more often now? she asked herself irritated. The thought of it didn't exactly help to calm things down. Rather, she unsettled Amber a little more.

“The lactate values are also correct so far. More precisely, they agree 99% with those of the entire female age group. Great numbers!” Amber stopped listening carefully. It bothered her more and more that she would be expected for a new examination. She hadn't planned it that way. Is that really necessary? she wondered, realizing that there was some very good news on the test results. Percent? Great Values? She smiled too, out of courtesy, and gave Dr. Winkelmann felt that he was also satisfied with the result mentioned. "Blood pressure, pulse, lungs - everything ok. During the stress EKG you had an elevated heart rate, but the heart sounds were fine.” Amber was embarrassed when she recalled that Dr. Karmann repeatedly listened to her with the stethoscope during the exercise on the ergometer. Now she realized why.

Amber slowly got used to the conversation. She wasn't entirely comfortable with it. It was also embarrassing for her, but she gained confidence. Dr. Winkelmann was very friendly and had a nice face. Again and again she looked at his hands, with which he carefully moved the papers on his table. He wore a wedding ring on his right hand. And otherwise they were tall and well-groomed. Maybe I'll come back after all, she thought. What is he like as a husband? Does he also examine his wife regularly? Again she sank into her thoughts for a moment.

“I will then inform you in writing about further results of the blood count in connection with the lactate test, these will be evaluated for a while. And we'd be happy to talk about the efficiency of the training plan as part of a further examination. For example, you can fine-tune it to achieve an increase in performance, take into account fatigue, deficiency symptoms or budding infections.” Amber nodded. "Yes, Amber, you are perfectly healthy!" Winkelmann leaned back in his chair. She looked down at her lap in embarrassment and smiled. "That's nice," she said quietly, looking back at Dr. Winkelman. "Good." Then I'll tell Mrs. Schenke that she can give you a certificate, and that's it!"

The doctor pushed the papers together on the desk, gave his desk chair a little jerk and got up. Amber reacted quickly and briefly wiped her right hand on her pants while she got up. Then she took her bag. Dr. Winkelmann came around the desk and shook her hand. Now shake hands very quickly and then go away, Amber thought and also gave her hand to the doctor. She felt his hand clasp hers. "Goodbye then! I usually see my patients once a year. Maybe we too?” “Yes, okay. Goodbye,” Amber faltered, busy not pressing her hand against the doctor's. She realized that she had just promised a next visit. Then she went to the door, opened it hastily and quickly left the examination room behind.