Monday, October 25, 2010

Because you can be "too" healthy.

Life Insurance companies crack me up.

Or, I should say, their attempt to determine the date of your demise cracks me up.

My husband and I applied for some additional life insurance recently. Our financial advisor told us this company has several different levels of coverage - the highest one is for the "least risk" and thus your premium is the lowest. So we're shooting for the sky, of course.

They send over a nurse to do all the vital testing - poke me with a needle, make me pee in cup, take my measurements, ask me if I've ever done drugs.

I was feeling pretty good about my overall health. After all, I've started running with some girlfriends - even getting up at 5am to get 5 to 7 miles in some days. So adding this additional running to my normal workouts should be keeping my heart pumping appropriately, I suspect.

I know, you either think I'm crazy or you envy me. Either way is cool with me.

But then I get a phone call from our financial advisor's office.

"Hi, Maxine. Your application has been put on hold due to low cholesterol. It came back at 124, and they are saying that's too low unless you're anorexic or a vegetarian. Are you either of those?"

I try not to burst into laughter into the phone as I pinch an inch and recall the big, juicy burger I ate the night before.

"Uh, certainly not."

Turns out the lovely life insurance people will not open my file again until I have a written explanation from my doctor as to why my cholesterol is "so low."

Honestly, I never thought this could be a problem. Has our unhealthy and obese nation now determined if your cholesterol isn't high there is something wrong with you?'s time to call the doctor. Ugh. I cannot tell you how much I despise going to doctors.

But I make the appointment. And the receptionist asks why I'm coming in.

I tell her the story.

She pauses, then adds that she's never heard of "too low of cholesterol" either.

The next week I'm sitting in the exam room with Doogie Howser (seriously, he couldn't have been more than a couple months out of school). Side note: Since I avoid doctors like the plague, I do not technically have a "primary care physician" so I just took whoever had an opening. Figures I would get the 5th string QB.

At any rate, the good doctor needs to examine me since I'm there. He asks me questions regarding children, family, lifestyle. Then he shrugs his shoulders and picks up the scope. Ears, nose, throat - all good. He has me lie down and he starts pushing on my stomach. Apparently fine. Albeit I'm wishing it was a little less squishy! But I'm ravenous since I had to fast for the blood test and as he pushes on my gut I'm struck with the realization of how long it's been since I last had food. I tell him nothing hurts, I'm just hungry. He tells me to go home and eat some fat. Yes, people. Direct from the doctor's mouth. Don't worry. I'll get you his phone number.

He asks me if I have any complaints, any concerns about my health.

"No. I could use more sleep though!" I say half-jokingly.

He looks at me and says, "Sleep? You said you work from home. You should get plenty of sleep."

Dear Reader: Let me reconnect you with a previous paragraph where we establish this doctor's very young age. And the other paragraph where I tell him about my children.

"I have three small children," I remind him.

"Oh, yeah," he says, rather cluelessly.

So after a clean bill of health, and another 124 cholesterol score, Doogie sits dumbfounded.

He shows me the chart showing 124 is in the 'normal' range.

He scratches his head. "I don't get it. It's normal. I'm supposed to write a letter explaining that you're normal?"

Then Doogie continues, "Just wait here. I'll find someone that will know what to do."

I'm assuming he's running to find a doctor whose white coat isn't quite so fresh from its package. A few minutes later he returns and says, "I'm going to write a letter that says 124 is normal and they can call me with any questions."

So that's exactly what he did.

And a week later I gained access to the top level of the life insurance.

Sounds like they were fishing for anything to bump me out of that level. I guess they figured if I was going to get the best insurance rate I had better pay for it one way or another. In this case, with a medical exam fee I didn't need to incur.

So my life insurance company decided I'm bound to live another 20 years. Or is at least willing to take that risk.

Personally, it sounds like a good time to eat potato chips and ice cream. After all, I can spare a few cholesterol points.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm still here, just trying to stay afloat!

Wow! I haven't blogged since August? Time sure has a way of slipping past, doesn't it.

To say I've been busy is probably the world's biggest understatement. But I can tell when I've gotten too busy when it takes weeks to get to my DVR'd TV shows! I keep telling myself, "Oh, one of these days I'll get to watching that." I'll be watching the season premieres sometime in March, probably. But hey, when everyone's tired of re-runs in the summer, I'll just be nearing the suspense of the finales.

But my busyness has been good. I've stepped up my freelance work a bit, so that's keeping me hopping. And once I plop my kids into bed, I've got a to-do list a mile long waiting for me in my office.

Seems there's always something to research, write or review.

Thus, my blog...well, it takes a back seat.

But I'll be back. I promise. But right now I think I'm going to settle into bed with a good book. Or even a half-decent one. When your reading repertoire typically consists of Dr. Suess or Amelia Bedelia, it doesn't take much to stimulate this mind.