“Wellness” Screening

I’m going to be SO HAPPY when I am no longer working 40 hours a week, taking a graduate level math course, and teaching a new course for the first time. Oh, and also training for a half marathon (side note: very glad I did not decide to train for my first marathon this fall…) I think I’m going to sleep the whole month of December.

THIS is what my business level at work is doing to my activity level, by the way:

I didn’t change elevation (well, except in an elevator, which doesn’t count for the fitbit) from 8-5.

Each year for my health insurance, I have to have a “wellness” screening. Basically, they determine if you are healthy or not, and then if you aren’t, they call and harass you. It’s very important to do this, however, as it cuts the cost of your insurance premium by more than 50%. Yes, that is right, you literally pay more than twice as much for your health insurance if you don’t go get some blood taken…even if you don’t cost the company less (note: my husband has an incredibly expensive chronic health condition and gets the same discount as I do… I haven’t been to a doctor except for contraceptive purposes in 2 years). I didn’t design this system, ok?

Anyway, today at work I had my screening (at least there is a convenient, free screening held at work…). It was fairly uneventful, except my hands were so cold they hand trouble getting blood out of my finger. By the way it was 75 degrees and I was wearing a wool sweater and pants. I’m apparently a popsicle.

I must say I was fairly surprised by some of these results, though:

  • Total cholesterol: 251
  • HDL: 77
  • Non-HDL: 174
  • Total/HDL: 3.3
  • Glucose: 74
  • Height: 5’4″‘
  • Weight: 141
  • BMI: 24.2
  • BP: 124/82

Ok, so the slightly high blood pressure is not surprising. Considering the workload I just described plus the second round of my two separate sets of jobs interviews, I’m surprised it’s not higher. It’s borderline, so unless it comes up again I probably won’t worry about it.

The cholesterol is a little baffling to me. My “good” cholesterol is like, twice as high as the target (which is a good thing). My cholesterol ratio (total/HDL) is also fantastic (apparently needs to be less than 5). However, the non-HDL is still very high. Not really sure what to do about that. I already exercise a ton and eat a like 90% vegetarian diet. Cut out the nightly ice cream I guess? Does ice cream even have a lot of cholesterol?!

The final thing: the BMI. First of all, they stole an inch of height from me. I’m between 5’4″ and 5’5″ to be fair, but I usually get measured as the latter, and the nurse looked at my height, went to write it down, made a face, looked up again, then wrote down the shorter measurement. That just isn’t fair! I’d also be very concerned about my weight/BMI but I am about 90% positive their scale was off. I know I have gained about 5 lbs and up to an inch on my waist…but this weight/height puts me at only 5 lbs from being overweight. I will note that today I was wearing size 4 pants that were too big. I accept that I have gained weight, but that measurement is just absurd (note: not that there is anything wrong with being my height/weight, it’s just that I’m fairly certain it’s not physically possible given my measurements unless I have a ton of secret muscle mass – the impossibility of it is absurd, not the BMI itself inherently).

The nurse very helpfully gave me a pamphlet and told me some numbers were outside the desirable range. The pamphlet advised me to exercise more. Ok, I’ll do that in between biking to and from work and running over 20 miles per week… at least I get to save money?


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