Fa la la lala lala la la! I know I know, Christmas was a while ago. We are already full throttle into 126.96.36.199. Hope you are having a great time. I really missed you over the holidays, please say you missed me too. I had a bit of a break, had loads of fun and then some. On returning to school there were exams, and everything else that comes after a Christmas break. Now though, with my schedule back on track let me just say, TWO.ZERO.ONE.FOUR. Baby! Expect loads of great stuff from TEAM sicklelife!
The holidays are great. In the tropics, the dry north-east trade winds of the harmattan can be a bit of a bother. Can’t say I had much to complain about though. Yeah, there were a few aches and pains, but nothing over the top. Thank God! Let me however confess, I was hoping for a bit more cold air, you know, so I could break into my winters’ best. I’m just that girl who is always waiting for the weather to ‘bring itself’ so I can get warm in my scarves and hoodies and blazers and socks and boots, well, still working on the boots though. It is a delicate balance, trying not to overdo the whole ‘keeping warm thing’ while at the same time ensuring that I protect myself adequately from the elements.
The weather is just so unpredictable. Most days I end up warm and uncomfortable by midday when the hot tropical sun finally makes an appearance in full splendour. Anyways, that is just me. How was it for you in the temperate regions? I read about all that snow and rain you had to deal with. The weather can really be a bother, I just hope you went out all with the ‘keeping warm thing’ and entered the New Year healthy.
So, this is it. 188.8.131.52. New year. Let me guess. You already have a long list of resolutions. Probably stuff from last year you were not able to achieve. Well, been there, done that. This year however, I’m doing something a little different. No more long lists of things that I am probably not going to be able to remember, much less achieve. I am going with a few general principles to work around.
Operation 12 months has been going pretty well. It started late last year as some of you are aware and ‘so far so good’ as Ghanaians like to say. I got some new perspective that I am going to share now. We may not all agree on this, but, what is that they say about opinions? Yeah, let’s just say this is mine. Let me know what you think about it though. I will really appreciate it. Consider this a brief new years’ message from, moi! (I actually just curtsied, hand movements and all, oh am dramatic!). Here we go.
I have had my faith questioned in the past for saying that I have sickle cell disease. Some people take issue with this. Think of it as an expression of lack of faith in God. Some say that I should not accept the diagnosis or speak openly about it. Well, hear this friends, there are facts and there is truth. Though common definitions have led us to believe that they are one in the same, in reality, they are quite different.
Fact, obtained through objective empirical means are generally verifiable and reproducible. Simply, they are true. Question: By virtue of being true are fact truths? That may leave you wondering, what then is a truth? Well, a truth actually reflects the true state of an issue (or shall I say a fact). Note that the key word here is state. Truths are highly subjective and temporary. They differ from person to person based on our belief systems. The truth is what you believe to be true in the current situation.
Simply, we all live with several facts every day. Say you are feeling unwell and go the hospital, a doctor may serve you a long list of facts based on the knowledge he/she acquired through medical education. The list gets longer as you go through the laboratory and finally the pharmacy. These facts no matter how unfavourable, assuming all parameters are accurate will be reproduced wherever else you go, because they are based on objective empirical work. After obtaining the facts, what next?
The difference between two people with the same set of facts is information/knowledge. It may be information you obtained by virtue of your religion, field of study, cultural upbringing or whatever else makes us different as people. The information you have determines your beliefs. Thus, the real difference lies in our beliefs. You need to realize that the facts you obtain on any given day, will be translated to a truth in your life based on the information you have fed yourself over time. While I am at this, I will encourage everyone to read as much as possible, especially material outside their chosen field of study. It is a very key factor in determining the truths in your life.
Practically, two people diagnosed with diabetes, given the same or very similar fact will have different outcomes (truth of the disease in their lives) based on their beliefs. For example how much information each gathers and how serious they consider the conditions and act to mitigate its effects, their spirituality/ faith / religious beliefs are also key determinant of the truth of disease in each person’s life. (Of course, these are subject to varied interpretations far beyond the scope of this blog. Do share your take on this) Socio-cultural circumstances also are important determinants of a persons beliefs and thus could be the difference between a well managed diabetic and one that ends up with retinopathy leading to blindness, peripheral neuropathy leading to limb amputation and everything else that could go wrong in diabetes.I believe what each person believes of the disease is the ultimate determinant of its effect on their life because it determines how they react to their diagnosis and management (compliance).
Fact, I have sickle cell disease. Fact, my immunity is lower than average. Fact, I am often anaemic, tired, or get tired easily. Fact, this and fact that and facts I really don’t want to hear anymore.
Now here is some information I have fed myself with overtime. Drugs actually work. Prevention is better than cure. Health is more pleasant than sickness. God loves me. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Before He formed me He knew me and predestined me… This too shall pass…
Now this is the truth by which I live. I am healthy. I am not a sickler. I am not weak. I ain’t got time to be sick and I ain’t sick. I live each day to the fullest and I make each day count.
We all have to live with different facts. The facts, we can’t always help. What we can do, is determine the truths in our lives. Remember, the truth is the true state of an issue and it is determined by our beliefs.
Having said this I need to point out that I do believe the Truth of the salvation that comes from believing in Jesus Christ. The facts of Christianity are the same and all true Christians have the same beliefs thus, a single truth. I do not accept new age philosophy of relativity of truth based on this. Same facts + same beliefs = Single Truth.It is that simple. (Just had to clarify)