The Body, Mind, and Spirit; Humanizing the Soul
By Twinkle VanFleet
I often refer to Quality of Life (QOL) when supporting or opposing legislation and/or certain topics aimed at the chronically ill or intractable pain patient . Quality of life is important! What is it though? I knew what I meant, but did others? Did those people I spent time with exchanging bits and pieces of personal belief and philosophies understand what it really was that I was referring to, or was it simply 3 words that had been tossed around in the vast world of healthcare and patients alike that had just become a more familiar reference term over time?
Somebody understood, someone had already knew precisely what I meant and what I had attempted to relay to others for decades. I didn’t know until after I returned home from being honored with The Bakken Invitation Award which recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Each year, selected Honorees earn a $20,000 grant from Medtronic Philanthropy to direct to a charity of their choice. I didn’t realize until I opened one of the books that had been gifted to me as a 2015 Bakken Invitation Honoree by the man who most likely didn’t choose me solely, but who presented it to me at one of my weakest and most vulnerable public moments ever. As I began to read through “One Man’s Full Life” by Earl E. Bakken, co founder of Medtronic, I knew.
I knew that the man who had invented the world’s first wearable battery operated external pacemaker in a garage in northeast Minneapolis while everyone else was recovering from WW2, knew also. There was 46 years between his birth and mine, but someone else understood long before I ever could.
Health Related Quality of Life is the meaningful intent and purpose of giving a part of the self to another. A warm smile, soft caress, compassion. Anyone can want, need or desire quality of life. This quality is based on what we do with our lives, where we want to take it, and if we can sustain that quality we want or crave by what we’ve utilized from all that we have and that which we don’t. It’s really dependent not on the self, but the ego. Upbringing, teachings, education, competition, and lacking commitment to anything or anyone else.
Health Related Quality of Life is what we need to survive. There is no quality of life without a health related quality of life. Health related quality of life had become technology, pills, and sending a person on their way. The real intent of health related quality of life is the human experience. Humanizing patients will help their mind and spirit overcome challenges in the body.
Shrug someone off, remove their dignity, you also remove the very reason for fighting against disease and pain that our own minds already know how to achieve. Our mind is part of our brain it isn’t the brain itself. It’s our conscious, and sometimes unconscious being, yet never the less our higher being, our spirit. Break the spirit, you will break the body. Liven the mind and the spirit, you induce a will to “be“.
All these years, all the doctors and medical professionals, some my own physicians, others colleagues, above me in degrees, educational establishments, influence, and knowledge. I knew I knew, but now it was validated by a man who’s invented, done and given more in his lifetime than anyone else I could ever come to know.
It doesn’t take a degree to “get it“. All it’s ever taken is an understanding and belief in the human spirit and what it’s truly capable of, if not thrown away. I think I’m finally proud enough to say with my head held high, instead of my eyes lowered, that I don’t have a degree, I didn’t attend any fancy universities, I’m certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am brighter than the average bear. This is all I was ever suppose to be. All I was meant to do is validate those who came before me for those who come after me.
We’ve become a world that belittles at the first opportunity and blames others for what’s in our own power to change or make better. Instead, a people who hold back because they think they lack worth. You’re worth it, I promise! Some are still trying to teach it, still trying to proffer care in kindness and mercy above and beyond themselves, opening eyes and fluttering hearts, enlightening those who haven’t quite seen the light yet.
It doesn’t take a degree to be enlightened above the self and know a little better than the one‘s who tell you, you don‘t..
All it takes is a little faith.
To be continued