The second of two political conventions just wrapped up. Breaking news: I will vote the same as I did four years ago. My political views are an extension of my core values, and my core values have remained fairly constant over the years. So - I suspect - have yours.
But change we do, and I was forcefully reminded of this by one of my old posts I happened to come across earlier today on HealthCentral. Coincidentally, that post dated from the year of the previous Presidential election.
The post was about a grand rounds talk I had been preparing on the topic of meds compliance. Like my political views, my position on the matter has remained very much the same, namely: There would be a lot more compliance if doctors actually listened to their patients. My message was a lot more nuanced than that, but I do recall telling 50 or 60 clinicians in the room that when their patients tell them about feeling like fat stupid zombie eunuchs on the meds they prescribe and over-prescribe that they aren’t doing this to ruin their day.
My audience showed its appreciation by making for the exits the second my lips stopped moving. Not one came up afterwards to talk to me.
Believe it or not, I actually bent over backward to please these people, which was the worst thing I could have done. I know that now - that is what has changed.
Our illness has a way of turning us into outsiders, and as outsiders we tend to over-compensate by aiming to please. We - not the insiders - are the ones always shucking and jiving to someone else’s tune. I’ve done it all my life. I don’t do it anymore.
Funny thing, now that I have given myself permission to be myself, I’m more relaxed, easier to get along with. My guess is that if I gave the same talk today, some of these same doctors would actually come up to me and thank me. But you know what? If they didn’t, I wouldn’t care. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Question: Cast your mind back to four (or five or six) years ago. What has changed about you? How has this affected your life and well-being?
Feel free to write a book. Comments below ...
Published On: September 08, 2012
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