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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

damn, hope the 401k holds out

Why? you ask.

Oh, well, see, I'm on track to live to be 95.  In fact, according to the example health survey I took yesterday in my NSCA manual, just being a human female who's reached the age of 50 in the year 2012 means my life expectancy is 83 years.  Which seems pretty rash of them to tell me considering I've just had a brush with what my pcp charmingly termed "borderline cancer", but hey! I'm sure the statistics work out somehow that even people who've survived a brush with real cancer get factored in. But, anyway, once you add in the extra points I get for all my good health habits and vital signs and family history n' shit and subtract the points I rack up from my not-so-good health habits and conditions, I end up with 12 extra years. Huh.  Frankly, I'm not betting on it.  And if my personal trainer administered this test to me and then gave me those results, I'd probably snort and ask wtf I was paying him/her for then.  (I guess it works out better as a business model if you can convince the client they're gonna die 12 years early. That'd probably motivate at least a couple months of gym attendance. WHO SAYS I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT COMMERCE?)

Oh, yeah. Anyway. Statistics. I have only a very vague notion of how they work, despite having taken two semesters of the damn class when I was 18 (in preparation for a degree that I never ended up pursuing, naturally). Taken and aced, I might add. It's all lost to me now, till the day my neurosurgeon electrically stimulates that portion of my brain while fixing an aneurysm or something. (I bet that would take a few points off your longevity score, yo.)  Being my normally pessimistic and anxiety-prone self, I tend to only believe the statistics when they are negative.  Therefore, I fail to believe that chances are good I'll live to be 95. Hell, I fail to believe chances are good that I'll live to be 83. In which case, why haven't I cashed out that 401k and taken a nice long European and/or Caribbean vacation yet? It's a mystery.

I do, however, believe the scary ones and feel free in applying them to myself.  For instance, apparently 1 to maybe even 2% of women who have laproscopic hysterectomies (which I did), especially those who have robotic surgeries (which I did not) have a complication called vaginal cuff dehiscence, which can include bowel prolapse. Often this is triggered by sexual intercourse.  (Large intestine falling out your hooha post sex=biggest mood-killer EVAH. In my humble opinion.) But it can also be triggered by the valsalva, just from coughing or sneezing.  Or, for that matter, the valsalva from squatting and deadlifting, I would imagine. Though the number of ladies who squat heavy weights would appear to be smaller than the number who sneeze, cough, or have sexytimes, so they probably are less likely to show up in the literature.  Even more terrifying, sometimes cuff dehiscence happens with no apparent external trigger.  Yup, just standing there minding your own business and the next thing you know, you're in excruciating pain and your colon's popped out to say hello.

I would be happier if I had never read this little collection of facts on the internet, including hearing horrifying testimony from women it's happened to, but it's 2012. The internet is there. You can't stop the influx of information. If you're a glass half-full type, however, you think, "hey, the chances are 99% that my stitches aren't gonna fail for mysterious reasons."  

If you're me, you think, "holy shit! one person in a hundred...that's effing common." And then you think about how birth control is only 98% effective even when used correctly, and the fact that your kid beat the anti-conception odds. So then you think, "huh, if I was one of the 2% who conceived even when I was trying hard not to, if I was the tiny minority then, I'm probably not gonna be in the tiny minority this time." Then you remember that statistics doesn't work that way and that those factors are totally separate from each other and you have the same 1-2% chance of cuff dehiscence as any other patient who had your surgery, all superstition aside. THEN you curse the fact that you remember one fucking thing from two semesters of stats class. Sigh.

Then you decide maybe you should just reject science and go with the whole superstition thing. 

To sum up, if you need me, I'll be busy chanting so that none of my remaining internal organs fall out after sex or in the squat rack or while buying overpriced yet delicious pumpkin poundcake at Whole Foods. Also so that Fidelity invests my money better in case I do need it in thirty years.  Happy Thanksgiving!