Last week, during a follow up appointment at the University of Michigan Medical Center, I was put in my place by a 5 ‘ small Latina woman whose job was to take note of my measurements. You know the drill - height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, etc. All the readings came in as expected except for one., one that I can hardly believe, my height. My latina nurse cut me down to a size I have a hard time believing.
I have in my adult life, always been 6 feet tall. That’s 72 inches but suddenly on that day in September I was officially declared to be an unimposing 69 inches small - not 72” tall. I demanded a recount or remeasure. The numbers were the same. Someone had obviously tampered with the measuring device. I sensed a conspiracy .
A rush of anxiety crept up my suddenly short frame as I began to feel the downward pull of gravity on my little body. An inward surge of Napoleonic complexity surged down from my brain through my body as I was tempted to bite the ankles of a 6’5” intern who was walking by. I knew how Superman felt when he was exposed to Kryptonite. My voice began changing to a high soprano tone.
In a panic, I barged into my physician's office and demanded the truth. What's going on with me? According to him, my three inch loss of height was pretty normal for a man my age and was no cause for concern. Accept that we all shrink as we age. Go home relax, It’s all normal.
Don't Come back until you lose a couple more feet in height. With that reassuring explanation, I went home. I have a lot of work ahead of me shortening a couple dozen pairs of pants and adding elevated soles to my shoes.