September 29th, 2010


Health update

My health insurance was switched from one company to another. I wasn't crazy about the old company, but change is still a pain. The new premium is lower, but the plan no longer includes dental. There was a discount dental schedule plan available where both my dentists are members, so that's better than nothing. Right after I was notified of the plan change, my long-time doctor sent a letter saying he will no longer be accepting my old insurance. He does take the new one, so the change turned out to be timely.

After avoiding the dentist entirely for over 2 years, I'm alternating regular dental cleanings with periodontal scalings every 3 months in the hopes of avoiding gum surgery. So far, so good. The first use of the new plan had a lower out-of-pocket charge than before.

I'm still seeing eye floaters (almost 2 years now), and have never been crazy about my contacts prescription (which hasn't changed in over 3 years). Sucks to get old.

Back in December, I was feeling short of breath and low in stamina. I couldn't keep up with senior citizens walking down the street. I've never been physically fit, but this was getting scary. I went to the doctor, who immediately took an EKG (normal) and bloodwork. The result was unexpected (to me, anyway) - low thyroid levels. So I've been on synthroid all year, with regular blood tests to ascertain the dosage. 50 mcg was too much, 25 too little; alternating them seems to work.

As long as I was at the doctor, he ordered a mammogram (normal), bone density (showed signs of osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis - so I'm taking calcium), chest x-ray (normal), and stress test. For this last, I had no exercise clothes and improvised with a long T-shirt, leggings, and rubber-soled Acorn slippers. They put a hospital gown on me anyway. This was my first time ever on a treadmill and it felt weird, but I managed, and the results were normal.

This meant I was cleared to exercise (and ordered to do so 30 minutes a day), so I joined the gym in my building which has a few machines, weights, and exercise balls. I had no idea what to do with this equipment and signed up for the once-a-week trainer - who never showed up. The person in the office was unclear if the trainer still existed. I then found the manual for the elliptical machine online, so got a vague idea what to do. I was alternating the elliptical (at the easiest levels) with walking each day, and recording food and exercise on an online fitness site. I was really good about this for about 6 weeks, and have not been to the gym since. Oops. As it gets cooler, it should be more pleasant to go back.

Mystery song update

The identity of the mystery song isn't completely solved. The closest suggestions were the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey" and the Doobie Brothers's "Listen to the Music" so it could be a combination of these. However, Nathan King's guitar segment at 2:50 reminds me strongly of SOMETHING - maybe it's the segment at 1:30 on Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints" (one of my all-time favorites, by the way).

I downloaded Tunatic on my laptop and played the Mark King clip. It found something! - "Keep Climbing" by Mark King. Duh, I wanted the WRONG answer. And how did this program know this incredibly obscure song that was only released on a solo project called "Trash" that King sold out of his house? Probably more people have watched the YouTube video than have the CD.

I do love the song, so maybe it doesn't matter what other song it resembles.