I had my medical a few weeks ago. Blue Sky pay for you to have an MOT, every three years as I remember.
You're in there with your GP getting your reflexes checked. They weigh you (ouch), and even check your height. They listen to your lungs, feel your tummy. You have to bring a urine sample. That sort of thing.
I find it a bit scary every time, just in case they find something, do you know what I mean?
But so far so good, touch wood.
In all my years I don't remember having a chat to a GP, not a chit-chat type chat.
For a medical, you get 20 minutes instead of the usual 7 minutes.
I could tell that the doctor, a woman who I'd had before, nice girl, wanted to be nosey.
Everyone's nosey about fostering. Everyone. Every single person who finds out it's what you do.
As I sat down she looked at the form that Blue Sky had sent her, and I saw her face take on board the reason for the medical:
"Primary Foster Carer"
She led the conversion towards her curiosity by mentioning her two young children, who get on well, but squabble a bit. This was great! My GP is checking my health and fishing for tips about parenting. I did a bit of pontificating. Gave her my tip about finding activities for them which amount to competitions against the parents. If the children co-operate with each other, come up with strategies and work together, you make sure they win.
Five minutes later I'm on my back on the padded trestle thing and she's lifting my legs one by one.
"So how is fostering treating you...?"
She wanted details. Everyone does. It's a problem for us because you have to protect the child's privacy, but at the same time it feels rude to have to say the equivilant of 'mind your own business'.
I told her it was hard work. Mainly for the brain and the heart. I told her it can get your concentration levels up. I told her a bit about a child who was with us a few years ago, who is well and happy now, and told her in a way that she could never get close to the child's identity. I even changed a couple of details.
I told her it was the best thing I've ever done, and I wish I'd done it sooner.
"You're very well, and you seem very on top of things. However your blood pressure is a little on the high side."
I replied: "A foster carer who's well and happy but whose blood pressure is a bit up eh?"
Then I found myself saying something one of our foster children used to say. "No shit Sherlock"
We both had a good laugh out loud.