Sunday, November 8, 2015

Difficult Patients

"Healed people heal people, hurt people hurt people." Part of what allows me to do my job day-in and day-out is that I have a healthy self-concept and self-esteem, thanks to many years of therapy, a supportive husband, and my Christian faith, family, and friends. So many of my patients don't have these blessings and for that I make sure that I treat them kindly even when they are mean, angry, or rude towards me. Most apologize afterwards. Of course, I make sure I document everything they say for my protection, but I would never yell back or treat the person the way they sometimes treat me because I know that they must have experienced something to make them demand the attention that they are demanding or sometimes they have a personality disorder that makes them difficult to be around. Those people all need love and the one place where they should be treated as if they were cared about is definitely their doctor's office. Otherwise they won't come back when they see a suspicious mole, that nagging cough, that skin infection of 6 months, or that lump in their breast. As I met a new friend Jessica last night, a brilliant education researcher, she told me that she learned this at a meditation class at Stanford University.

This phrase really stuck around with me today as I ponder life on this easy Sunday morning. I really see this in action in everyday interactions. Part of why I can help others is that my husband, of 5 years of marriage and 8 years of dating before that, was  always patient, kind, reaffirming, positive, and supportive. I can be that now for others because of the 10 years of therapy on and off. Pain is something difficult to acknowledge, even more difficult to process and go through, and even more difficult to just feel it. I know I try to avoid feeling pain as much as possible and as humans we all do. Distractions like tv, drinking, drugs, eating, exercising, video games are all ways we self-soothe but only helps temporarily. Today I'm so grateful to have found people and ways (faith, therapy). I'm not perfect still, but I'm at least more aware and I hope you can become healed too.

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