Skip the (1-10) Scale

I strongly oppose the question by health care professionals asking a person to assess their pin on a "scale of 1-10 d(pictures is a favorite former phlebotomist Jonathan who's not related to today's blog topic).

I STRONGLY oppose the question by health care professionals asking a person to assess their own pain or condition on a “scale of 1-10” (pictured is a favorite former phlebotomist Jonathan who’s not related to today’s blog topic).

Hate” is a strong word, I know, but if I were to apply that emotion to a cluster of words it would without question be these: Can you tell me how you’re feeling on a scale of 1-10?

For one thing, I think it really depends on the person. What I may say is a 4, someone else experiencing the exact same symptoms at the exact same level of intensity may say 7. See? Health care professionals asking people to estimate their own level of pain isn’t reliable.

For another, does my answer determine how seriously you’ll take my health concerns? Consequently, will I only get treatment to clear up my illness if I give you a large number?

For those reasons I detest the question. Too many times have passed when my doctors didn’t believe me after I told them I was ill. I suppose I wasn’t acting “sick” enough. (I’m certainly not one to exaggerate feeling poorly; quite the opposite is true. I never would’ve accomplished anything had I easily caved to feeling under the weather; instead, I was and remain a fierce fighter, armed with strength to persevere from Almighty God.) Looking back at my health history, my doctors would’ve seen that every time I voiced a health concern, there was a serious health problem requiring immediate treatment.

So there you have it. Simply Skip the Scale.

I am a Material Girl

A typical nine to five job would completely destroy me, I think to myself, ever grateful for the calm but chaotic, enjoyable but tiresome, clearly spontaneous but obviously planned, life that I lead.

I suppose the old saying, altered a bit to fit me, is in fact quite true:

One man’s child is another man’s story. On God’s good humor I’ve enjoyed spending many hours with seven incredible youngsters who have provided me with pages of engaging accounts which I’ve now revealed.

So thanks to Drs. Rebecca and Thomas for always believing in me when I was thought to be devastated wiht an inevitably fatal illness; Ty-guy for never failing to petition for a secret Tootsie Roll in my room that I got Sunday at church from Jimmy when he’s supposed to be resting on the couch; and Ri-yo for his continual requests to view tractor videos on my computer that are so frequent I store several tractor clips merely one click away in my ‘Favorites’ section online.

I’m sure each time I turn around more amusing antics will be waiting to be fashioned into a feature. Story substance – hence the term, “material” girl – is boundless.

Let’s keep in mind Mac-dog wielding extreme effort for his 2-year-old frame to clamber atop my high bed and sing regularly into my little white fan that “We’re a happy fa-mi-ly!”; beautiful and gorgeous Lo-lo allowing me to remember every time I see her happy face that she has more style than I can ever hope for; and the widely grinning Beauty Queen sharing in my fondness for the written word by flapping her arms and legs in every direction whenever I read to her that I guess you can hail as a literary explosion.

I’m a writer, sister, cousin, friend, and aunt to six nieces and nephews.

And I live in a material world.


THE END (This story was written a few years ago. More children are now in the picture.)

I'm surrounded - quite constantly.

I’m surrounded – quite constantly – by little ones.






Button, Button, Who Can Find the Button?

Cardigan-clad (with my Dad)

Cardigan-clad (with my Dad)

 All right. I can’t easily button buttons. Ever since cancer treatment left me with a weakened right side of my body, my fingers no longer nimbly button up my shirts and coats. Upon realizing this I immediately got rid of all of my button-down shirts. I stopped trying to button my pea coats during these really chilly Michigan winters as well and nearly froze myself.

However, armed with a strong soft spot for cardigans (I have over a dozen because I love the style) among other clothes like pea coats from JC Penney with big buttons, I now face the challenge of a button head-on. Laughable maybe, but think of how this principle applies to life. Whenever a challenge arises, instead of cowering behind inabilities, rise to the occasion and DO YOUR BEST.

La, la, la, whatever.
La, la, la, it doesn’t matter.

(But it really does.)

Aim our Attention on the BIGGER Picture

Set your sights not on smaller and subsequently much less impactful things, but . . .

Set your sights NOT on smaller and subsequently much less impactful issues (this photo’s me), but instead . . .

For one thing, I used to often fret about my life’s outcomes for the next upcoming group of years. Knowing my life would be anything but “typical,” and by that I mean securing a 9-5 job and following other “regular” things the average person (if in fact such a person exists) participates in, I’d one-hundred-and-fifty-percent fail to put my trust in God, and instead worry about what I’d be doing in the future.

In the BIGGER picture: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27

Update: Since that time of needless worrying, I realize God will continue always to fulfill my life. I constantly am occupied, and had I in fact ever tried to hold a “typical job” (which would without a doubt in my mind never in a million years have worked, and would unquestionably make my body completely worn out to the point of exhaustion and therefore cause me to fail miserably – remember I’ve had the human body’s limit of chemotherapy and radiation, which certainly adds to my lack of energy) I would not have had any extra strength whatsoever to shell out to do other things that give my life meaning and hopefully serve to enhance others’ lives as well.

For the second and last thing, I’ve been a huge, to say the least, reader and writer ever since I was old enough to put pen to paper. Growing up I attended a writing camp, won spelling bees and writing contests, and immensely (and definitely still do) enjoyed writing, especially words that rhyme and non-fiction. I never could’ve imagined how God would eventually put my love of writing and language to good use by opening doors for me to make a book of poems from ones I wrote during nearly a decade of cancer treatment to both relate to and encourage readers; do numerous public speaking engagements in hopes of encouraging audiences by sharing my story of triumphing over my vicious battle with leukemia while simultaneously graduating college; and writing this very blog you’re now reading. Hindsight shows me that God was preparing me my whole life, through my love of both writing and knowledge of the English language, to share with others my life’s story in present times.

In the BIGGER Picture: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a furure. Jeremiah 29:11

 See? God knows what He’s doing. Thankfully, solutions can be found to life’s problems, concerns, and issues, right smack dab within the pages of the Bible.

. . . Look at the BIGGER Picture. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

. . . Look at the BIGGER Picture.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2