Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Healthier than the Average American?

About two months ago, I reported that I had decided to take part in HMR's regularly scheduled Health Questioneer and Risk Factor Survey. I had avoided doing them in the past as I know how hard I work at my lifestyle yet I am intrinsicly unhealthy. I was afraid of what the results were going to be.

Well, I got the results back this past Tuesday.

It was exactly what I expected. My lifestyle either meets or exceeds the Surgeon General's recommendations on almost every count. I only had four items that did not measure up, and of them, only one of them registered a significant deviation. My weight, of course. I'm approximately 10 percent over where he thinks I should be. I am working on it; I'm now down six of the ten pounds that I gained and feel confident that I will get back to my personal goal of 148 pounds again. And that's where I am going to leave it, because the Surgeon General does not account for the approximately 10 pounds of excess skin that I am carrying and cannot do anything about.

The trouble with the assessment was my health status. Where he would like to see me at a zero, I scored a 19. No kidding. For the past 24 hours, I have been unable to leave my condo, and barely gotten out of bed for what I believe is a massive Crohns flare. Except for repeated trips to the bathroom, that is, and I am not going to describe them here.

I also am still fainting for who-knows-what-reason-it-isn't-diagnosed, and ended up having surgery on my left knee because of damage done in one of the falls.

I was very upset by the result of the survey; more so than I expected. The Surgeon General thinks I should have a risk factor of 0; mine is 14. Had it not been for my autoimmune issues, I would have registered with a negative number on his scale.

Lucy asked many of us, including me, what we thought about our scores. I was honest. I work very hard and am upset by the number. "But Laura," she replied. "The Average American has a risk factor of 25. Your risk is way lower than that."

That really bothers me. I have been miserable with chronic illness and come close to dying multiples of times over the past two decades. And I am supposedly healthier than Joe Average American? For goodness sake, just how unhealthy is our country?

1 comment:

Ang said...

I wish I had words to give you comfort. Thinking of you today and praying that you'll feel better soon. I love you. Thank you for your words of encouragement..It meant so much to me to read them last night and as usual you gave me something to think about.

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