After my amputation, I discovered that with so many doctor appointments and therapies I was starting to feel as if being a patient was my whole life. Because I saw myself as a “sick man” I started surfing the internet endlessly to probe potential causes for whatever agitation I was feeling at a given moment and calling the family doctor to demand medicine for the tiniest discomfort.
After a while I realized that one problem with this way of thinking and living is that it generates a self-fulfilling prophecy; I felt like a permanent patient because that’s what in fact I’d become. But far more important I realized that I’d wrongly arranged my life’s priorities.We all want to be healthy but the thing that gives health value is the “why” that it serves. Reclaiming the driving dreams and desires that makes good health important to us may do more in the long term to help us feel well than all the medicines ever invented. At a given moment we may not be able to do everything we want in fulfilling our dreams but if we persist in doing what we can we likely are going to start feeling better because we aren’t letting health define us.