Thursday, February 17, 2005

Say What?!?

I had my wellness screening this morning. The last time I had this done was almost exactly a year ago. I won't get the blood numbers for about a week, but I can give you some general things that I found out, and how I compared to last year.

My Body Mass Index (BMI) is almost identical to last year. This is good. Only in the sense that it wasn't any worse. In other words, I didn't grow up or out in the past year. I won't give you an exact number. Let's just say that I'm nowhere near "ideal".

My waist-to-hip ratio (waist in inches, divided by hips in inches) calculated out to .93. For men, the "desired" ratio should be <.95. This must mean that my body is desirable. What it obviously means is that I'm big in both areas, rather than having a big beer gut hanging out. But they say that's more "healthy", in my overweight state.

I bombed the grip strength test. Partially because it was early in the morning, and I hadn't done anything with my hands. In fact, as I squeezed (squoze?) the device, every knuckle in every finger cracked and popped. I think I surprised the nursing student working with me at that point. Sounded like my fingers literally had snapped and broken. Sort of woke everyone up in the area though! I generally have a strong grip, so this was a personal downer.

One area of improvement was the flexibility test. Basically, it's sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, then bending forward to see how far you can reach. It's checking your back flexibility. I scored pretty well last year, and this time I blew past last year's mark. And that's with having to reach past my big gut that's in the way! Not quite sure how I did it this year, but I'll take it!

Also had a lower blood pressure than last year. Not by much, but lower. But that's sort of like saying you only drank 10 beers last night instead of the whole 12-pack. You drank too much, but you've done worse. Again, no specific numbers for you, but it's about borderline high--don't need to medicate, but I should be watching it closer.

So the biggest surprise/disappointment? They threw in a simple hearing test. I apparently have some hearing loss in my left ear at the 4 kHz level. I can hear higher pitches. I can hear lower pitches. The girl giving the test made the comment that the woman just ahead of me missed the same pitch, and wondered if the machine was screwed up. Of course it was! It COULDN'T have been me! I'm a musician! I can hear everything! Well, she tried it herself, and she could hear it. It must be a short in the headphones or something. I put them back on and watched her hit the button. Nothing. So I switched the headphones around so that it would come through the right ear. Damned if I didn't hear the pitch in my right ear! Damn, damn, damn!

I have spent over 3/4 of my life as a performing musician. Rock bands, jazz bands, pep bands, concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, choirs. I've taught music for about half my life. I've had trumpets, screaming cheerleaders, timpani, ref's whistles, crash cymbals, piccolos, drums, squeaking clarinets, guitar amps and vocal monitors in my ears for most of that time. I've stood in front of gigantic speakers at concerts and gone home with a ringing in my ears that lasted for days. And now they tell me that I've lost some of my hearing???

I only had one response--say WHAT?!?

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