Friday, August 19, 2011


I'm two days into the school year proper and so far I'm keeping with most of my health goals. I've worked out each day after work, I cooked my meals at home instead of getting take out, and I found my new snack of choice for the pick-me-up I need between getting home from school and working out:

Don't mock me.  I've been tracking my nutrition lately and was dismayed to see that in a typical week I'm about 50% below the recommended intake of calcium. A full glass of chocolate milk boosts that, fills me up, and has less calories than most snacks.  Plus? It's yummy.

My district set up basic medical exams this week to get a lower group insurance premium. We all had to complete health surveys online, then be screened by people in white coats who weighed and measured us, checked blood pressure, and drew a blood sample. My white-coated fellow had to wiggle the needle around a bit to get blood, which resulted in this vivid burst of color in the crook of my elbow:


I actually lost several points on my health survey because I've been to the ER in the last six months and to my doctor twice, which I do think is unfair since I've never been to the ER in my life before that car accident and the doctor visits were follow-ups to the ER trip.

I'll also have to spend a good chunk of time this weekend dealing with paperwork for insurance issues.  I'm halfway through the massages my doctor prescribed, and I need to copy and send off all of the notes and receipts from them to hopefully get reimbursed.  Before you get too jealous of my massages, you should know that up until the last one I've been in a lot more pain after the massage.  It gets better the next morning, but it's not all peachy aromatherapy all the time.

I set up an appointment last week with an Elements Therapeutic Massage place near me.  The receptionist said she could schedule me a session with Danielle, who is trained in physical therapy.  Sounds great!  At the appointed time, I check in at the front desk.  "Oh, Danielle will be right with you!" the receptionist chirps.

I settle in next to the trickling table-top fountain with a 5280 magazine.  A few minutes later, this pony-tailed and goateed guy dressed all in black comes out and holds out his hand to me.  "Hi," he says, "I'm Daniel."


I didn't want to be rude, so I didn't say anything.  It was weird getting undressed and settled under the sheets knowing that a strange guy was going to do the massage.  I kept up my silent mantra like the Cowardly Lion at the feet of the Wicked Witch ("I'm good at being naked, I'm good at being naked, I'm good, I'm good, I'm GOOD at being naked.") all the way until he started the massage.  Then, revelation:  Guys are strong!  He worked out a lot of the tension and kinks that the other masseuses have been missing.  It was the best massage I've had in this fix-my-neck series, and I booked another appointment with Daniel before I left.

Even with so many under my belt, getting massages is still weird.  The first time I had a massage (a few years ago), I got it from an instructor at the Utah College of Massage Therapy.  She was great about walking me through the whole process.  According to her, I had two jobs: 1) Keep Breathing, and 2) Don't Help.

That's what I focus on during my sessions.  First of all, I actually do keep forgetting to do those things mid-massage.  Secondly, I don't like being waited on.  My instinct is to help, especially when someone's providing some sort of service around me.  To just lie there while someone else is working?  It's strange and awkward, so it helps that my initiating masseuse gave me not just one but two jobs to do.

Come to think of it, those two tasks may also be helpful in finding a balanced lifestyle this school year.  Keep breathing and don't help.  Or at least don't help as much.  I need to get better at letting students and parents and volunteers do more of the tasks.  Things might not get done to my level of correctness, but several lesser-quality achievements would be worthwhile if I walk away healthier 10 months from now, right?

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