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How do you quantify health and fitness?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I was in a car accident in Washington DC. My plane landed, I went directly outside and found a taxi to go to my hotel - we were at an intersection when BAM we were rearended by another taxi. I had been on the ground maybe 15 minutes total (including getting off the plane).

Ambulance, neck brace, backboard, x-rays, CAT scan, doctor says I'm fine but will be sore for a few days. Scrips for pain and muscle relaxers, which I don't bother to fill. I can tough this out.

I manage to make it through my class in DC, fly home, and try to return to my routine. But my neck feels tired all the time, like my head has gotten heavier than normal. Ice is good, leaning back is good. Walking, working on anything, standing, sitting - and my neck and upper back turn into painful tight burning muscles.

So I'm seeing a chiropractor. I've sent for the police report, and the x-rays and CAT scans. I probably will get a massage or two. And hope that I feel better before we fly off for our vacation next week.

Medical bills will go to my health insurance company, and they'll pay them - and go after the insurance company of the taxi who hit us.

But DH, ever the attorney, plans to write letters regarding the pain and suffering, loss of consort, etc etc. I have no idea how to give a numeric value to my health and fitness, which is missing right now. How much is not having a headache all the time worth? How much do I claim for sore muscles? How much for not being able to go back to working on the mural three or four hours a day?

Because those things are priceless. The days when I'm doing less than I normally would are days lost. Forever. No amount of money will buy those days back. I can't pay someone to do the work on the mural, because no one but my students and I really care enough to do the tedious cleanup and patching. No one can go out and walk and do my two hours of cardio for me. No one will write grant reports, or cook dinner for DH, or play with the cat, or do my weeding - those are all things I'd normally do, but they aren't getting done because by the afternoon I need to ice my neck and shoulders and upper back.

So, how do I quantify health? Fitness? and the loss of both?

Because I really have no idea.
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