Getting a fair assessment of your health
By Rachel Carlsruh
There's nothing quite as satisfying as having just purchased a pair of five-dollar-95 percent-off-trendy-platform shoes, eating a Parmesan pretzel, and chatting about mammograms simultaneously.
Saturday morning I went to the Cache Valley Mall completely focused on getting new running shoes. But, for me, going to the mall with a goal is almost as realistic as making an agenda "Things to Do When I Get to Heaven." So, I was side-tracked and spent two hours running from booth to booth at the annual Cache Valley Health Fair. (I was also side-tracked by JC Penny's red CLEARANCE signs, pulling me into their force fields.)
The Health Fair is an all-day event where various health-representatives from the community set up displays and activities to educate Saturday mall-goers (like myself) of health issues. Planned Parenthood, Bear River Health Department, Utah Cancer Control Program, Logan Regional Hospital, and CAPSA were just a few of the contributors.
(The CLEARANCE sale was a ONE DAY ONLY event, and don't EVER plan on finding a sale like that again!)
The fair is held in the mall because this is where most families whether they like it or not end-up on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. (The tradition of gathering at the mall dates back to 20,000 BC, when cave-people decided that instead of gardening, or hiking, or enjoying the great weather, they would all gather in a dark cave, yell at their kids, argue with their parents, spend all their hard-earned animal skins, then go home with jeans that "just don't fit-right", and have to go back next Saturday to return them.)
Nobody was trying to sell anything, and there was lots of free stuff. I got a flash-light key chain from CAPSA (Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency), a pen from the Logan City Police Explorers, and some gum from the IHC Home Care people
While clutching my JC Penny bags, I learned two of 55 ways to get my 5-a-day; eat a peanut butter sandwich with bananas instead of jam, and top my pancakes with fruit instead of syrup
I took a radiology quiz, and failed. After intensely examining x-rays, I made and educated guess that the small, round objects floating through the intestines were peanut-M&M's. Actually, they were blood-clots. And when I had to guess the number of babies from the ultrasound picture, I guessed "none", and figured that they were actually Alien's growing inside Sigourney Weaver, and she better get those removed!
The Bear River Health Department and IHC had lots of booths on women's issues, like menopause, pap and pelvic exams (they weren't doing them in the mall just giving out pamphlets), and breast cancer. I got a package of pumpkin seeds coupled with a handout that said, "A lump as small as a seed can be detected by mammography!" I'll never feel the same about carving pumpkins.
But, the highlight of the day was getting a body composition reading. The reading told me how much fat, muscle, water, oxygen, and un-dissolved bubble-gum I was made of. The best part was getting on a huge scale in front of a group of people. I took off my shoes, my sweater, my earnings, and my elastic hair-clip (so it would be an accurate.) I figured that my tee-shirt, shorts, and underwear probably contributed another 15 to 20 pounds, so I was right at my target weight.
Then I got my body-fat tested with a little electro-body-fat-reader device. I sucked in my stomach the whole time, and that's probably why my body-fat was so low. My theory is: any time you're getting ANY body part tested, or standing in front of a mirror, suck-in, and you'll be pleased with the results. . . .
Except when trying on jeans. I think I'll be back next Saturday..