May 21st, 2008

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Oscillating between amused, horrified and admiring

Thanks to dlevey for the pointer to what is *surely* the most bizarre marketing idea to be revealed in years (at least, outside Japan, land of Ambassador Hello Kitty) -- HealthPartners' new mascot Petey the Pee Cup (and his sidekick Pokey the Syringe).

No, really. If this is a gag (and my original assumption was that it surely was), it's a damned thorough one -- here's an article from local public radio on the subject, with pointers to, eg, a promo spot by the company CEO. Far as I can tell, they're completely serious about it.

On the one hand, it's ridiculous and goofy. OTOH, you have to credit them with coming up with something memorable, which is more than I can say about most health companies. If they can deal with looking silly, it's really rather clever marketing. And it certainly fits their slogan "A new way to look at health care"...
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A good doctor's appointment

Spent the morning down at the doctor's office, getting my first tip-to-toe checkup since 2000. (Yeah, I'm kind of bad about such things. I don't actively avoid them, I just procrastinate about making appointments.)

We talked about a few concerns. There's a long-standing numbish patch on my right leg, which she suspects is due to mild back strain. (Given the positioning, her guess is that it's a pinched nerve.) We spent a long time talking about my knees, which are starting to give me a little trouble. Her recommendation there is for strengthening exercises.

Indeed, she strongly advised me to stop thinking about the knee troubles as "I'm doing something wrong", and start instead viewing it as, "the surrounding muscles aren't strong enough to support what I want to do". One of the reasons I like Dr. Brogan is that, while she is willing to consider drugs and surgery as valid options for problems, they usually aren't her first choices -- her outlook is pretty holistic. So her main focus for the session was on strength and flexibility issues, and she sent me home with a small sheaf of papers describing exercises for the back and legs that she wants me to adopt.

Those rather minor issues aside, she gave me a generally clean bill of health. Indeed, on the most important indicators, I'm actually healthier at age 43 than I was at 35 -- while I may berate myself as a shlub, my weight and blood pressure are both down from last time. We agreed that this is mainly due to my finally developing a habit of regular exercise. Good to hear that it's worth the discipline -- now I just have to apply the same to how I eat. And we'll see whether my cholesterol is doing similarly well -- I get those numbers back sometime in the next couple of weeks...