Monday, March 28, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Steaming steamy stinking stinky

Wow.  I'm at a loss for words at the moment.  Angry, indignant, perturbed....these words don't even come close.  Insulted.  That's another good word. 

My employer, in combination with my health insurer and Web MD have come up with this "wellness program" wherein points are assigned for certain activities.  Get enough points, and you save money on your insurance, which equals bigger paychecks.  One of the required activities is to take a health assessment they call a "health quotient".  It asks about your height and weight, your last check up, whether you know your cholesterol, and if you go to the dentist regularly.  They say it's voluntary, so I have no one to blame but myself.....

This morning I got a call from some poor call center employee with my health insurer.  His job was to get me to sign up for their weight loss phone support.  It's FREE!  My employer pays for it!  WOO HOO!  So why was I not ecstatic and sobbing with relief that they were here to rescue me from my fatness? 

Could it be that weight is not an indicator of health?  Could it be that I found it insulting that they picked an aribtrary cutoff for what makes a person at risk?  Could it be knowing that the skinny person beside me who eats junk all_day is not getting the same call but is at greater risk than me?  Let's quit looking at body size and start looking at behaviors, people!

Living ~400 lbs had an awesome post today about how government programs aren't helping with obesity.  My work program is an awful lot like the government programs, in my eyes.  Please go read Living's post, because my description is inadequate.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baby Steps

I have a hard time interacting with people, especially strangers.  I think that today, however, I did really well in that arena.  I am in the process of separating from my husband, which in and of itself is difficult enough.  Today I went shopping for furniture for my new apartment.

In the first store, I had an appointment with the sales guy.  As soon as I walked in the door, several sales people offered to assist me.  C, my salesman, came over pretty quick.  I showed him pictures of the furniture I had to work with, and he showed me things that might work in my new space.  He spent two hours helping me.

This meant two hours of trying to make conversation with someone I didn't know well enough to even fake looking in the eye.  I think I did OK.  I managed a couple of foreheads, an ear, and an eyebrow.  But mostly I just looked at his name tag.  Still, this was progress for me.  I mean, I would have preferred to webchat and somehow test this furniture out without ever going in the store.  So I did pretty good.

The next store was easier, as it was a second hand store, and one of my favorite charity based thrift shops.  (think red kettle and tinkling bell)  I was kind of bummed when I got home, looked at the pictures I took, and realized that I wasn't imagining a smell in the store.  The smell was coming from the recliner that was such a great deal.

The next store was on the smaller side, so I wasn't there as long.  The salesperson was an older than me female.  For some reason, I feel a little more comfortable with women about my mom's age.  So that store wasn't too taxing.

The last store was a huge discount store.  Lots of customers, but also lots of salespeople.  In all of the previous stores, someone waited on me right away.  In this store, it took 15 minutes for someone to come along, and when I told him I wasn't make the purchase right that second, he told me to come back when I was ready to buy.

Even though the first store was the biggest ordeal, I think I will be getting my furniture there.  There's something to be said for a salesperson who is nice to you.  To be clear - I am aware that it is his job, and he is paid to be nice to me.  The point would be that he did it.

It tired me out, but I am glad that I had this little excursion today.  Baby steps may be small, but eventually, they will get me where I am going.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dear Grandma

I was reminded today of my last conversation with my maternal grandmother before she died 7 years ago.  I was talking with my father on the phone, and he needed to do something that would require both hands.  His phone doesn't have speaker, so I told him to just set me down on the kitchen table and come back to me when he was done.  I could hear all of his puttering in the kitchen, and this is what brought me back to Grandma and this almost forgotten conversation.

I was living a good six hours from my family then, and didn't have the discretionary income to travel much.  Grandma has just been admitted to the skilled nursing facility associated with the hospital   Since I couldn't visit, I called her up.

The residents had just finished with dinner.  It took the nurse a moment to track Grandma down, but when she did, she brought her the cordless phone.  Grandma was 96 or so at the time.  

"Hello?" said Grandma.

"Hi Grandma!" I said.

"Who's this?"

"It's  The F.A."


"The F.A., Mom's daughter?"

"Mom's not here right now."

"I know that, Grandma.  This is The F.A.  I called to talk to you."

I started telling her about my day, and what had been happening in her life.  I mentioned how I missed her and wished I could visit.  She made some murmurs like "Oh yes, uh huh" so I thought she was following what I was saying even though it was clear she couldn't remember who I was.  

Then she said "OK, I am done talking to you now" and proceeded to set the phone down on her dining tray (without turning it off).  That was the last time I spoke with her.  We had this conversation shortly after I met my husband.  I was trying to get her to hang on long enough to see me married.  

She died a couple weeks later.  It makes me said that our last conversation was so incomplete.  I wish I had gotten more of her stories into my head, and down on paper or recorded in some way.  Treasure the elders in  your life; they won't be here forever.  Learn from them.  And always remember them. 

Don't let your last words to them be "Hello?  Hello?  Are you still there?"  They might not be.