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I am not a number! I am a...oh, wait.

My public sector place of employment, while sometimes stodgy and always low-budget, does offer me excellent health benefits, an increasingly solid-gold rarity in American life. I don't use the medical insurance, and generally wind up paying for my own non-Western healing things on the rare occasions when I need them.

But I turned 55 in December, and I read What Technology Wants, and I've come around to a view that maybe high-tech medicine has its good points, so when my employer offered a free basic health screening I said what the hell. Might as well get some numbers.

They weighed and measured me, took my blood pressure, and drew a couple vials of blood. The results came in today. Verdict: I think I'll live.

The "alert" areas are tied to my weight. LDL cholesterol: marginally high. Blood pressure: nudging into "pre-hypertensive" territory. Something called A1c, having to do with blood glucose, suggests that I may be at risk for diabetes. Each one of these levels is tied to my obese BMI.

(We interrupt this post to say, "OMG a Jehovah's Witness just knocked at my door!" *is stunned* The gap between what's in my head and what's in that guy's is wider than most gaps. I felt kind of sorry for him, but not sorry enough to take a god-leaflet.)

Ahem! So, anyway: my Personal Lab Report concludes by telling me to lose weight, basically.

Can't expect the high-tech, super-reductive screening method to know that I already eat the recommended number of calories, that I have already lost 32 lbs, or that I already exercise an hour a day, but it does confirm that I'm on the right track.

What reductive high-tech medical screening can do is give me numbers over time. If I repeat the tests in a year, I expect my Personal Lab Report to conclude by saying "Yay! Go you, you thin older person you." In numbers, of course.

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