Everyday I am bombarded with numbers – phone numbers, my case load, the cost of gasoline, the check book, my weight, lottery numbers, and the list continues. I enjoy watching the show “The Revolution” and one week they focused on numbers and the audience wore the number and it’s significance to a person’s health. There are some very interesting statistics out there based on various “health” numbers (weight, cholesterol, hours of sleep – I don’t do so well on the weight and hours of sleep, but am thankful my lab work looks like I am skinny – lol).
One unique thing about numbers is that they DO NOT HAVE TO DEFINE ME!!! But that is a true choice… when I get on the scale, I can choose to believe I am still Sheri Wolfe, wife and mother and nurse OR I am a 200+ pound Sheri. And, it is amazing how that “number” can control me OR could say how can I control that “number”. It is all a matter of thought. There are numbers in my life that I cannot control – my age, my height, my birthday – but they still do not have to control me! I chuckle when people don’t want to admit their age – every year you have is a blessing to be alive and everyone ages every year – not admitting it does not change it.
Another area of numbers that are a big topic this week are the MegaMillions drawing and Gas Prices. I have never bought a lottery ticket, but will admit I bought one for this. Why not! (p.s. I did not win). For some, they believe that the lottery is gambling and a sin. I do not personally hold that belief for me because it is not an “addiction”. I may have to do a blog on my dreams with the money had I won. The gas prices definitely affect me more than the Mega Millions (especially since I didn’t win), but I can’t control the number and honestly I do not let them control me. I may try to cluster errands a little more, but I have to have gas to work. Do I like pay over $4 a gallon inMorgantown– absolutely not – but is an essential.
The other set of numbers this week that includes our home is the Autism Prevalence in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United Statesto 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). http://www.autismspeaks.org/ Yes, Samuel is 1 in 88 children, 1 in 54 boys… but did that change anything – NO!!! It is just a number, and our son is SO MUCH MORE THAN A NUMBER. Do I pray it means more funding and awareness – YES! Do I pray it means that insurance companies will have to pay for the needs that go with it – YES (because mine does not)! Do I pray it means that educational systems are going to have to step up A LOT to help these children succeed – YES! The interesting thing is that children diagnosed with Autism is more than children diagnosed with diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined. But, I didn’t see anything at either hospital that I work at or either school that our children go to about Autism Awareness Day (April 2) and Awareness Month (April). But healthcare workers, educators, and even the public, needs to step up their awareness and education…. Anyway…
As a cancer nurse, there were always statistics – the survival rate of various cancers. Often the topic would come up with my patients and I truly believe that a person has to believe they will be in the positive survival rate. They can’t control what statistic they will be, but they can control going in as the survivor.
But I honestly just realized as I typed how contradictory for me – I tell patients to be the survivor statistic, but by not controlling some numbers in my life – my weight, my hours of sleep – I put myself in statistics that I can control. I need to PREPARE to CONTROL NUMBERS in my life that I can. It is time to not be a hypocrite – telling my patients one thing and my life exemplifying another…. I can change my numbers to ensure that I am a survivor statistic – my numbers will NOT define me! I can’t change Samuel being part of a statistic, but can ensure that he is survivor statistic – Autism will NOT define him!
“Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.” ~William W. Watt