family practice issues and general life events

Attitude is everything

Or my self serving whiny post, which does nothing, teaches nothing, and is merely in existence for no other reason than it makes me feel better.

Sometimes I have days like today. Where when I walk into the room, and ask the patient how they are doing, and today is the worst day of their life. If it is one or two, well that is well not ok, but feasible, because at some point you will have the worst day of your life. This morning however, it seemed like it was everyone’s worst day ever. It improved somewhat this afternoon, in that only half of the patients were having their worst day ever, the rest just have multitudes of complaints

In reality, dealing with a couple patients who view everyday as the worse day ever is tiring, a whole morning is exhausting and mind numbing. It is enough to wish for a fully stocked bar in the office. (I said wish, I rarely drink, so much more that a glass or two of wine would make for a bad idea, especially in the middle of the morning, er I mean the afternoon.

Anyway, it is in those patients you realize how important one’s attitude is to their health. Patients who believe that everyday is terrible never seem to be getting better, and while it might be my doctoring skills, I have patients that seem to improve. So that gives me some hope for my skills. I have patients who have their diabetes under control, their blood pressure looks good, and sometimes walk in and say “I am all better.”

And then there is the others. The ones that despite running ALL the possible tests, you still cannot find a reason for their worst day ever, which by the way is worse than their previous visit that was also the worst day ever. They have pain that is a 12 on a 10 point scale where 10 is being caught on fire currently. And then the mention a random surgery were half of the bowels were removed 15 years ago, that they forgot to mention previously. (Not really, pretty sure I would have seen that scar) But there are unmentioned surgeries, medications, and dietary factors that they neglect to mention. Or other doctors that are prescribing medication. (Sometimes the same medication and sometimes one causing side effects that you are treating.)

And then when you do the workup for a condition, you find out that even though their symptoms scream gallstones, they had that removed 5 years ago, and well they didn’t think it was important to mention. I mean after all they no longer have that organ so how can it be the problem? Though I have been told that they didn’t mention it, because they thought that it might have grown back.

Back to the attitude mentioned in the title. Those with an overall positive outlook in life really do seem to heal better, they are healthier. They try, they are not hoping for a magic pill to cure all. And some of them have significant medical diseases. They have the belief that things can get better, that there is something in life worth living for. And they are living life. This does not mean that they don’t have pain. They may, they might not, but they are trying to experience and live. There is some purpose to their lives.

It is not that they don’t have pain in their lives, some have significant tragedies. Death of spouse, child, fighting disease, but they are looking for a greater meaning. They accept that bad things happen, and maybe just maybe these events help you to appreciate the good times. The understand the need to experience everything that life has to offer. And just by seeing them, you feel better. They make your world better just by them being in it.

Attitude is not the end all, cure all. But it is a necessary component to improve one’s life. It helps with healing, it helps to give strength and motivation. It is what makes one successful in life.

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Comments on: "Attitude is everything" (3)

  1. Very well said! I happen to be one who remains positive, and fights through any pain or illness that comes my way. I believe that is the reason I am rarely sick – if I’m feeling a little under the weather, I just continue on with my normal routine – exercise and all.
    That being said, I have very little patience for whiners. Well, let me be more specific, because I can definitely whine with the best of them, but what I mean are the people who are hypochondriacs or who whine about EVERYTHING. It’s like they are talking themselves into being miserable. Those kind of people can be a drain on us positive people. So I can totally understand how you would be worn out after a day like this. Hope it gets better for you!

    • Thanks. It really was an annoying day, but the week did improve. Just I felt the need to whine, because of all those that were whining at me. And it really does make a difference. It is one thing when there is something truly wrong, but when it is minor, well it starts to really get annoying. Though I shouldn’t say that should I

      • Well you shouldn’t say that to THEM, but to us, you’re allowed to say whatever you want! 🙂 I work in the customer service industry myself and I have to stay positive and upbeat all day, even when the guests are complaining or being needy, so when I get home, I’m the whiny and needy one. So I totally understand. Don’t worry. I won’t tell your patients. 😉

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