What's Your Quality of Life?
Timothy Lee, Qualicare Waterloo Franchise owner, discusses the way in which we should approach our perspective on our respective lives.
Quality or quantity? Better or more?
Have you ever filled out a Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ)? It asks questions you would never think to ask yourself – If you could trade “X” for “Y,” how much would you pay? That is the sort of question you would have to answer.
Depending on the treatment or surgery, questionnaires vary. It’s interesting that the answers, if there are any, are purely speculative.
More objective Quality of Life measures are available from the OECD. The good news is we Canucks score pretty well. Our average life expectancy is 81 vs. OECD average of 80. The level of atmospheric pollutants is 15 micrograms per cubic meter, which is lower than the OECD average of 22. Canada is ranked 4th in the world with a score of 9.0 behind Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
As a Qualicare Franchise owner, I’m a numbers guy, as you can tell. But what do these Quality of Life measures actually mean? Is “more life”equal to “better life?” Does quantity of time make time worthwhile?
These studies are based on two premises – first, health equals life. Second, more is better. I disagree with both. I don’t believe that your health status is any measure of the quality of your life in any way or in any quantity.
The point is this – your health does not define you. You are more than your condition. Your quality of life is not measurable by a questionnaire. Your quantity of years does not define your value.
Every day you wake up, you’ve just been given the greatest gift on Earth – another day.
Regardless of what you can’t do, there is much more that you can do. Even if you can’t walk, you can inspire others. Born without arms and legs, Nick Vujicic via YouTube has inspired over 7.3 million people.
Bethany Hamilton (real-life Soul Surfer girl) embraced more people when she only had one arm than when she had two.
Don’t let a diagnosis or a questionnaire define you or the quality of your life. You should live your life like it’s your own. You should measure the quality of your life in ways that can’t be measured. You have the opportunity to make your life count regardless of the quantity that you’ve been given.
You have one life. Live it well.