The Term “Healthy” Is Relative

/ 21 April 2007

Partly with how Eric is doing, and partly with this cough that Dagmar and I have, and partly being around Oma it has made me more conscious to just how relative the term “Healthy” is. I have been conscious of the relativity of the term all my life, but here where I’m around someone who’s 84 and during these hard weeks of Eric’s infection it’s made it more clear how “Healthy” can start and end and be neutral at a large amount of points on many different scales. For example Oma’s health is neutral and “healthy” at a point where my health would be towards the worse side. My own health is on a different scale from my parents because I’m younger and had a stroke at birth. The more people you get to know the clearer this term becomes in it’s relativity. You also begin to note that at any second your or someone you love’s health scale may rise or drop dramatically. A couple years back Oma had a stroke and that made her personal scale drop to a point where “healthy” was at a point that used to be “a bit sick”. For the first few seconds of my life my scale was a bit better, but when I had the stroke it suddenly dropped way down. At times like now when there’s clear sickness/ allergies and when a single person has a very bad infection your eyes get opened up to the sensations of the terms of “healthy”, “sick”, and “quite good”. To say that you know the full and true human meaning of these terms is a lie since truthfully no one knows the meanings even if they know the dictionary definitions. One other fact is that there are at least two different scales for each of us, one is the physical health scale, and the other is the mental health scale. You could be very sick on one scale and yet very healthy on the other and only if others can sense and feel both of those scales and where you lie on them can they know how healthy you are. These connections are quite hard to connect and sometimes the true diagnosis or consequence or an action may not be noticeable and predictable unless you note both scales and the history of a person. One example of where people may have misjudged how healthy someone was is the recent Virginia Tech Shootings in the United States, if doctors and parents had been able to piece together the elements of these two scales and the history they may have been able to stop the shooting before it occurred. Now having tied in so many elements of current events and of my view of the term “healthy” I’ve tried to make a clear explanation for the complexity of the term and the importance of it. Enjoy, Alex