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Wanna Trade Places?

Even immediately after my car accident, every single person who saw me was pleasantly shocked at how "great" I looked. Funny how much a little concealer and a new hair style can make anyone look fabulous.

One of my physicians confidently told me "there's no 'look' for pain". This wise woman also said "you can't see muscular or neurological damage".

Going through physical and neurological (inner ear disorder) therapy for months, I was in awe by anyone with broken bones. I constantly saw quicker recoveries for people with pins in their legs.

I also often wished for a pain in my butt, because I was sick of it being in my back, shoulder, knee, and head. And now, I found out that I may have joint problems too...yipee.

Anyways, I took my compliments pleasantly, and politely reminded them NOT to judge a book by its cover, even good ones.

Whenever I tried to wean into work, the effort to make myself presentable for a couple of hours with a crowded room filled with people was extremely difficult. Walking through noisy crowds gave me motion sickness. Unfortunately, the compliments often turned into "you look and sound GREAT" with a huff and a puff.

So, my constant rebuttal was "Wanna trade places?" with a smirk. They rarely asked for details, and assumed my life was just fine.

Yeah, writing my book "Empowering Women to Power Network" was fulfilling one of my dreams, but promoting it is a whole job in and of itself...something I'm not fully able to handle right now.

Hey, and you're also right: I'm living my other dream of homsechooling my girls too (thanks for remembering).

Just so you know even up to this very day, my husband and I find new ways to vertigo-safety our house so I don't faint or pass-out when I'm home alone with the girls. Our four-year old knows how to call 911, report our address, and use a cell phone...just in case.

Do I want sympathy? No way!

My point: I don't wanna trade places with anyone.

So, I stopped asking that question when I realized I was just fueling sarcasm with more sarcasm. No doubt, I've always been a very sarcastic person, but to joke around may be pass judgment is not.

I don't give a darn what people may think, because I have enough to worry about. Can you imagine not sitting too long in a chair because of back pain, or not standing too long because of your knee? Pretty annoying, huh?

But, I'm grateful for these conditions.

Consider some of these women who are within my own sphere of influence:

- Having clinical depression that she would cry all day and night, be insomniac, paranoid, and can not physically get out of bed for days at a time.

- Having a restraining order against her hope-to-be X-husband for herself and three children because he abused them. She lives in fear and worry for all their safety.

- Being 35 years old and experiencing a car accident that only broke her hips, and then the day she was supposed to come home she died. Survived by this tragedy are her husband and four children: the youngest is three and oldest 14 years old.

All of this happened during my recovery these past eight months.

Do I feel blessed? You betcha.

No matter what you may see or feel about another person, just think: "Would you wanna trade places with that person when you have NO idea what their situation really is right now!?"

My answer is "No Way", how 'bout you?

I didn't think so.

(c) 2005 Ponn M. Sabra, MPH

Ponn M. Sabra, MPH is the Author of "Empowering Women to Power Network". To learn more about her book and sign-up for FREE tips, articles and resources, visit her at . Ponn is profiled in Marquis' Who's Who of America and Who's Who of American Women.

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