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When You’re the Problem

March 29, 2012

I couldn’t believe it.  This was at least the third thermometer I’d bought that didn’t work properly.  I’d had the forehead one, the ear one, and now I was back to the under the tongue kind.  So annoying, I thought to myself as I stuffed it back into its box. 

Instead of tossing this one, I recorded on the box that my normal body temperature read 96.1.  (I’d taken my temp three times in a row, and it came out 96.1 each time.)  That way, if I felt feverish, I’d know this was my starting point instead of 98.6.  I can’t believe they charge $8 for these things and then they’re not even accurate, I grumbled to myself. 

The thermometer found a new home in the medicine cabinet, and I pushed the frustration out of my mind – that is until my next appointment with the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.  As the nurse recorded my blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature, she said, “You’re a cool one.”

“What?” I said out loud and then to myself, That’s kind of rude; I’m warm and bubbly.

“Your temperature, it’s low.”

“How low?” I asked.


“Really!?” I asked, my eyebrows shooting up in surprise.

“Yep, and it’s been consistently there the last three times you’ve been in.”

I laughed out loud and said, “I guess I should stop throwing thermometers away.  I thought they were all broken.”

Over the next few days I did a little research on body temperatures; and by research, I mean I asked a couple clinicians who work with me, and I googled “low body temperature.”  Seems you have to be in the 95 degree range before you’re in danger, and I’ve never dropped below 96, and occasionally I make it all the way up to 97.5.  The problem clearly does not lie with the thermometer but with me.

Can’t believe I threw all those good thermometers away, I thought with irritation.

My condition is a little unusual; and so it did make sense for me to question the calibration of the thermometers.  Unfortunately, circumstances rarely support the blame game. 

As human beings, we are swift to adopt this kind of thinking: I’ll blame anybody or do whatever it takes so I won’t be held personally responsible for my own deeds.  We see it first when Adam tells God that his stinker of a wife made him eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:12).  Eve catches on quickly and passes the blame on to the beguiling ways of the serpent (Genesis 3:13). 

In Exodus 32 Aaron won’t take responsibility for his sin in making a golden calf for the Israelites to worship.  After all, the people asked him to do it.   

In I Samuel 15:15 Saul directly disobeyed the commandment of God to utterly destroy everything of the Amalekites, but he wasted no time fabricating an excuse.  “…the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God;”

And so it continues through the pages of the Bible – blame and excuses for every kind of disobedience. 

At this point, I’m tempted to play my own blame card.  At least I came by it honestly.  Blaming has been in practice since the beginning of mankind.

But I am without excuse.  I am a new creature.  I am made new.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  I Corinthians 5:17

Fortunately God wants to forgive us if we’ll just own up to our sinfulness.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

So the next time you want to blame someone, pause and consider, who is really at fault.  And if I come to stay with you, please give me extra blankets.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynda Skinner permalink
    March 29, 2012 5:57 pm

    Laura, I have to laugh, because we too went through three different thermometers, thinking that there was something wrong with them. Phil finanally told me to take everyone’s temp and record it so that we know if anyone is running a fever. I am not sure if we have low body temps or not, but I am done buying thermometers.

    • March 29, 2012 6:14 pm

      Maybe this low temperature thing runs in the Miller family tree. Can’t you just see me at the next family reuinuion going around and recording everyone’s temperature.

  2. March 30, 2012 7:54 am

    Funny. I thought maybe you were just using it wrong. Sorry you threw them out. I guess we all learn from our mistakes. By the way, we would LOVE for you to come stay with us. We have a guest room and plenty of blankets to keep you warm.

    • March 30, 2012 9:03 pm

      Using them wrong had been my initial conclusion as well, but I kept reading the instructions over and over and was pretty sure I was capable of a procedure as simple as they described.

      Would LOVE to visit you guys some day. Perhaps my travels will take me your way.

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