At this point along my life's continuum, the biggest rude awakening of my aging was the decline in my vision. Four years ago I had 20/20. Then came the reading glasses, with new scripts each year. Then, in the last year, my distance became just one click off from being clear. Oy. I knew I had to get it figured out before getting back into the air. The answer: contacts for distance supplemented with drug store reading glasses. But, lying there, I couldn't help but wonder if this new set up, would be enough. The other bit nagging at the back of my mind was the blood pressure test. My blood pressure has been in question, it seems to spike when I go to the doc's. Whitecoat syndrome or serious problem? Surprisingly, the bp "pass" number for FAA med exam was high: one had to be at or below 150/80. Surely, mine would be lower than that!! But, who knew what my numbers would be. The moment I walked into the doctor's office and said hello, I knew this doc was a "character." He was chipper, friendly and animated — and hanging from the small office's walls were aviation pictures … a jet, a biplane … all slightly askew. He fit the bill so far. [In my yute, I gleaned from listening to conversations about medicals between my dad and his pilot friends that though aviation docs knew their stuff, they were always "characters."] And he was patient and seemingly sound of mind (which, unfortunately, did little to calm my pounding heart and dry my sweaty palms). Before we got started, I explained my blood pressure concerns and asked him what the real truth is about what seems to be an ongoing debate within the medical community. His answer didn't clarify the debate much, but he did say that if there's a concern, to be sure, I should go to the local fire station 10 times or so over the course of two weeks, each time at different times of the day, and then take an average. Just that advice alone was more concrete than anything any other doctor has given me. On to the exam, of which I thankfully passed with a thumbs up. While sitting in the waiting room for the nurse to type up my certificate, I admitted to myself that the early hours of worry were for naught and felt a little silly. I also realized from glancing around the waiting room and listening to the open exchanges between the more-than-middle-aged patients and the doc that maybe I wasn't the only one up knitting this morning. Two of them had to have EKGs as part of their medicals (one of whom was an airline pilot, so there was at least one job dependent on the exam's outcome).