A Blog about Everything

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the health coach chronicles

A form letter came in the mail from the health insurance company last month. Fill out an on-line survey and receive a discount on your premiums, it said. OK, how bad could it be; I'll do it. So I start clicking the mouse, trying to decide which pre-programmed answers best fit my situation. This should be no problem, I thought, I don't smoke, I exercise regularly, wear a seatbelt while in the car, ect. But somewhere along the line, I clicked on something that red-flagged my survey. Maybe it was because I got a lengthy phone call from a family member in the middle of doing the survey but tried to multi-task by talking and clicking at the same time, not focusing on either task. Or maybe it was because I responded that I was frequently frustrated (job-related stress). Maybe it was because I admitted to being overweight. Anyway, I was assigned a health coach that calls me once a month to check up on my progress with my weight and my stress levels. My first coaching call was a few days later. I was feeling down about both my weight and my job situation.

Last night I had just returned from the Ohio River and had totally forgotten that it was time for the second health coach phone call. As I was pouring a glass of relaxation, the phone rang. Now I had eaten very little during the day and was also somewhat dehydrated. As the call progressed, I worked on my beverage. By the end of the call, I was cheerful and optimistic. I told her I was eating fruits and vegetables instead of ice cream and pizza (true) and that I was going to actually plan healthy meals in advance and make a grocery list (less likely to be true). She thought I had made great progress since last month.

The power of positive drinking!

Monday, August 13, 2007

stranger than fiction

Today's work day could qualify for a show on America's strangest jobs. Starting at 7 am, I sat on a boat in the Ohio River while professional divers searched the murky depths for possibly endangered clams. My job was to identify the clams to species and then returm them to the water. People (some with binoculars) were watching from the walkway on the shore. The local police officer decided to watch for awhile, too. I had my state and federal collection permits ready to show anyone who asked. The mayor of this small town was supposed to show up for publicity purposes, too, but didn't. Boats were going by repeatedly, I suppose to get a better view. Fortunately, the barge captains had better things to worry about and kept a respectable distance away.
All of this for a life form that most people don't even know exists.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

agony of de teeth, part II

As I write this, I am feeling the effects of 10 shots of novocaine. Yes, I counted them. Yes, I still could feel discomfort from the procedure. It seemed the shots took maximum effect about the time I needed to pay my bill and make a follow-up appointment. Being unable to communicate, I decided to take off the rest of the day from work as sick time. As I arrived home, my neighbor ( whom I will call "Mrs. Ned Flanders") was outdoors and decided it was time to chat. "ablad a da danst" I said. She correctly interpreted this as "I've been at the dentist". She wanted to discuss our another neighbor, the heathen/redneck/ghetto (pick your favorite) household that has time for detonating fireworks but not for mowing the weeds. Finally, my drooling and gibberish speech must have been too much and the conversation ended.