Is ‘healthy’ the absence of illness or is it something else? A number of years ago, another healthcare organization created an entire communications strategy (that informed their entire corporate strategy) around a single word: thrive…
That is their idea of healthy — not simply being free of sickness, but thriving. I like that.How does this work for cancer? Is being ‘healthy’ a quality of life issue, a clinical issue based on lab work? Is being healthyan outcome — a certain number of years without being compromised by cancer or having your cancer under control? Or is healthy something else … a combination of all these things I just mentioned, but something else, too?
I vote for the something else. What do each of us hear when a clinician says: you are healthy? For me, being healthy means being able to resume whatever passed for my normal life, prior to being sick. It means being happy and balanced in the world. It means feeling good in body, mind, and spirit.
So, while the media most often focuses on superficial indicators of health, being healthy is really about having a sense of well-being. If my blood work comes back at ‘normal’ levels, but, yet, I’m anxiety-ridden, am I healthy? Can I be healthy, but still sick? I think maybe so. To thrive means to be able to grow, to live with an optimism borne of a conviction that the road ahead leads to some interesting places.
You can be sick, I suppose, but entirely healthy.