Sunday, September 25, 2016

Getting older is just the beginning

So you thought your body deteriorating was your biggest concern with aging? If so, you'd probably be wrong. The bigger issue you will have to deal with is the change in technology as it pertains to your medical assessment and treatment. 

We all know that any day now all human doctors will be replaced with androids. Ok, maybe it will be more than a few days, but that time is coming. You really can't blame the medical field for doing this though. The human doctors and nurses already have to put up with patients coming in pre-diagnosed  via WebMD, YouTube and the neighbor's blog. If the patient is going to do this self-diagnosis online before seeing their doctor, why should the doctor even be there?

I thought I would put this theory to the test to determine if it's a plausible idea. My findings were less than comforting. Well, in terms of actual diagnosis anyway. I'd love to get the glowing report I received during my test study.

Just so you understand the test subject (me), here are the basics you need to know. I am male, 42 years old, 225lbs, 73" tall and exercise means I mowed the lawn or took my girls on a walk. My ideal weight is in the 166-202lb range. I also have hypertension (high blood pressure). 

Because the internet is really only good for (mis)diagnosing the symptoms I may have, I only used the internet to find out what my "ideal weight" is supposed to be. I'm also not sick right now so it's not like I could key in a bunch of symptoms and see what the internet thought I was dying from. Because of this, I had to go ultra high tech...and my 5 and 7 year old daughters helped me with this part.

I used the Wii Fit program on our family Wii gaming system to determine my overall health. This program has you stand on a calibrated platform where it starts by taking your weight reading. It next has you do an agility test where you lean front-back-left-right to make a mark on the tv screen hit little cubes that keep popping up on the screen. This somehow shows your ability to shift your weight as needed. The final step is standing on one foot for 60 seconds and trying to keep the dot on the screen centered. This apparently tests your stability. Once you complete these tests, it will give you your Wii Fit age. 

My results:
I realize I am overweight, but the Wii classifies me as "obese." This is probably not all that off base. I imagine it's a short run from overweight to obese. 

The stability and agility tests stated that these are "not my strong suits." I find this one kind of odd because I spent a number of years climbing trees for a living. If walking on tree limbs all day doesn't improve agility and stability - then I don't know what does. But...once again, I can't completely dismiss this assessment because I haven't climbed trees regularly in about 12 years. I very well may have gotten rusty as I aged...and didn't practice. 

Here's where the assessment falls apart though. It tells me that my Wii Fit age is 38 years old. If I am obese and not agile or stable, how am I supposedly four years younger than my actual age? Is it because I knew how to operate the Wii gaming system. If that's the case, I cheated because my daughters ran the controls and told me what to do. 

This has been my long winded way of telling you that your body getting older isn't the real issue. Keeping up with technology will be the bigger problem. I certainly hope the cyborg doctors use something a little more sophisticated than a gaming system. If that's the case - bring it on. If my ability to operate a gaming system will determine a proper diagnosis then I'm doomed. To maximize the value of your future doctor visits and resulting physical assessments, I suggest you get yourself a gaming system and brush up on your skills. Until next time....

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