A healthy dose of humor

My company offers free health risk assessments where you can get a basic once-over for things like blood pressure and cholesterol, along with a flu shot. As part of the process, you’re asked to fill out a pre-appointment questionnaire about your current health conditions.

It’s a good thing they restricted answers to drop-down menus, and didn’t include open text boxes. Because my immediate thoughts? Weren’t exactly predetermined answers.

For your it’s-almost-Friday entertainment:

Are you “very likely,” “likely,” or “not at all likely” to fall asleep in the following situations:

  1. While reading. That depends. What time of day is it? Am I reading a cookbook, or an email, or the latest Jen Lancaster? Do I have a blanket?
  2. While riding as a passenger in a car for more than an hour. Guilty as charged. You know those parents who swear the car’s vibration puts their distressed infant to sleep when nothing else will? I think there are some adults who fall into that category.
  3. While in a crowded public place. Is this a thing? Wait — what happens if you fall asleep while reading, but you’re in a public place?? I don’t know how to handle question overlap!
  4. While talking to someone. Um, I’d be rude. Next.
  5. While sitting quietly at your desk after a lunch with no alcohol. Seeing as how Don Draper’s the only one I know who can get away with liquid lunches, I can’t speak to this exercise. But if you need volunteers to test the theory, sign me up.
  6. While lying down for an afternoon nap. What is this “nap” you speak of? ‘Cause in my house, naptime is when the small child sleeps and I engage in an Amazing Race-style frenzy of seeing how many household chores I can accomplish in an hour and a half. Sometimes I even take a shower.

Have any of the following statements applied to you in the last seven days?

I found it hard to wind down. I work full-time, volunteer, take care of my house, husband, dog, child, and myself, try to maintain family relationships and friendships…So yes, sometimes I am a bit keyed up when I fly into bed at, on a good night, 11 p.m. I also like to talk. A lot. Which tends to prevent “winding down.” This is supposed to be a sign of a health concern?

I couldn’t seem to experience any positive feeling at all. Quite regularly, around 6 a.m. every weekday. Symptoms markedly better following two cups of coffee, with cream; symptoms nonexistent on holidays.

I found it difficult to work up the initiative to do things. Quite frequently. A partial list: cleaning toilets, clipping my one-year-old’s nails, organizing the hot mess of sheets, towels, lotions, cosmetics and first aid items that is my linen closet, visiting the post office.

I tended to over-react to situations. Did it involve a spider or a squirrel? Then, yes, I did. And don’t even think about suggesting I attend one of those therapy sessions that involves sitting in a room with the offending object and having someone keep moving it closer to me until I’m comfortable with it.

I was worried about situations in which I might make a fool of myself. You mean, like earlier this week, when I stopped by my car in the work parking lot to drop off some bags on my way to a meeting, and promptly forgot I was holding my employee ID, dropped it, and heard it bounce underneath my car, causing me to get down on all fours, in my dress clothes, and wildly scrape at it with a three-ring binder while my rear end, in all its middle-of-the-day-sunshine glory, faced the parking lot entrance, which kept filling with a steady stream of cars? Does that count?

I found myself getting agitated. Pretty much every time I get an email where the entire message is typed into the subject line IN ALL CAPS.

I was unable to become enthusiastic about anything. False. I was very enthusiastic about the chardonnay sitting in my fridge.

I felt that I was rather touchy. This survey was crafted by a bunch of men, wasn’t it?

I felt scared without any good reason. Um, have you watched the news lately? There’s always something about a car catching fire over here and a salmonella outbreak in brocciflower over there and some guy who was struck by lightning for the third time while he walked his dog. It’s enough to make anyone go all Little House on the Prairie; at least if half the country had a cholera epidemic, you didn’t hear about it on a 15-minute loop with annoying business jingles in between.

I felt that life was meaningless. What happens if you check “yes” to all of these? Does the computer actually stop the registration process and instruct you to seek professional help immediately? Because it probably should.

Stay healthy, my friends.


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