City Times

Dubai Diaries: A visit to the doctor is a lesson in genetics

Last updated on May 3, 2021 at 1.14 pm

So who do you resemble more - your mom or your dad? The doctor’s query in the midst of a diagnosis for what I could foresee would eventually be ascribed as the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle took me aback. I took a quick glance at my husband for assistance: What kind of question is this? Is it even permitted for a medical doctor to ask such superfluous questions, I wondered.

Seeing the doctor was in right earnest, I hesitatingly offered up — maybe I’m a mix of both. ‘Who do you resemble the most,” he questioned again, forcing me to opt for my mother, feeling a bit guilty that my father’s genes were not sufficiently predominant enough for me to lean to my paternal side for any medical assistance.

So it turns out if either of your parents is prone to any particular diseases, so are you by default. It doesn’t matter if you can ace a Survival of the Fittest game right now — not that I am in any state currently to even qualify for one.

However much I may want to trek up the most scenic mountains or embark on a walkathon in a National Park, my body is currently in no state to even dream of rappeling down the Burj Khalifa.

In retrospect when my dad who was in his 40s then cautioned me against being frivolous with my hair care routine due to his own premature greying, I was pretty flippant. Just because he had it doesn’t mean I’m going to get it too, I reasoned out to myself.

Fast-forward a few decades later and voila, he gets another chance to tell me: I told you so. My dad’s greater calling is in lecturing friends and family — my sister and me in particular — about the need to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you compliment him on his lean physique he’d without missing a beat point out that he needed to lose ‘at least one more kilo’ even as he is busy getting his trousers’ waist taken in at the local tailor.

During his last visit to Dubai I was forced to gulp down every morning a concoction of beetroot, apple and carrot because of a WhatsApp forward on the best detox juice out there.

All this free fitness bulletins should have had some impact on me, one would have thought, but I do the next best thing — that is disperse my knowledge to those in more dire need than me.

A consultant, as the famous joke goes, is someone you pay to take your watch to tell you the time; my visit to a doctor finds parallel here — even before he goes through my blood report I can probably spare his time and let him know I just need to knock off some kilos, specially the ones piled on during the past one year, most of which was spent with one eye on the ‘gram and the other on the oven.

Ambica Sachin Armed with a double masters in English Literature, Ambica Sachin embarked on a career that has seen her straddle teaching, assisting an award-winning author, and reviewing books and movies, before finding her forte in critical writing and interviewing celebrities. She is currently Editor, City Times, the lifestyle and entertainment portal of Khaleej Times.