The Diagnosis is Not the Prognosis

purpose Jan 08, 2021

The Diagnosis is Not the Prognosis

When I consider all that has made my life purposeful, Sometimes I think it is ironic how things started.

The diagnosis was pneumonia. 

It appeared my life would be over not long after it began. I had pneumonia three times before the age of one, each occurrence worse than the one before it. On the third occasion, as I laid in a hospital crib with a spiking fever, the doctors told my parents I might not last through the weekend. I am told, it’s no wonder they would offer this prognosis given what they could see from my history and what could be observed at the time.

My mother was determined to expect more. She wasn’t willing to accept that my life was meant to be spent in hospital beds. She broke away from the conventional medical wisdom of the day and found Glen Hesse, an amazing man and an incredible chiropractor. With his care my compromised immune system was restored and I was on my way in life.
My reason for sharing this is not to slight the medical community. On the contrary, what I share today has nothing to do with doctors.

I simply aim to raise your awareness, and mine too, of our tendency to misapply the concepts of diagnosis and prognosis in life.

A diagnosis identifies or labels by looking at symptoms/evidence and a prognosis forecasts a likely outcome.

Take some time to consider the labels and forecasts we take on board in life. You can probably find yours quickly by looking first at the loop that plays in your head.

DIAGNOSIS                                         PROGNOSIS
“I’m from a broken home.”              “I’ll never be a good parent.”
“I’m uneducated.”                              “There’s no way I could be in charge.”
“I’m an introvert.”                              “I’m supposed to be lonely.”
“I have dyslexia.”                                “I’ll never enjoy reading.”
“I’m too old for this.”                          “No one would hire me.”
“I weigh more than I should.”           “People won’t accept me.”
“I’m addicted.”                                      “I can never be trusted.”

I’m so glad my mom didn’t allow a label of being a “sickly child” stick to me. I’m thankful she would not permit my diagnosis to become my prognosis. She expected more and we can too.

We can talk back to the evidence. We can talk back to the forecast. All we have done is NOT all that we are. While there is breath in our lungs there is opportunity to grow, to expect more and become more.


Rick Burris


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