By Wanda –
Defining, diagnosing, and detailing a treatment plan for migraine usually means multiple trips to the doctor, endless imaging, blood work, and lots of trial and error. It’s easy to become frustrated within the process in general, and with one or more health care providers.
Being passed from your GP to labs and imaging and back again if aggravating enough; once a diagnosis of migraine is reached, most people are passed on to a neurologist who can then direct them to the care of a headache specialist.
According to Cornell Law School, a health care provider is defined as anyone from doctors, to nurse practitioners, to Christian Science practitioners, to clinical psychologists, to physician assistants. In real life, the list is much longer.
We interact with nurses, lab techs, receptionists, medical billing staffers, home health care givers, physical therapists, and sometimes even med students. That’s a daunting list of people to interact with when all we really want is an answer and treatment that works to manage our migraines.
So, what does an attitude of gratitude have to do with our migraine journey?
Being grateful for the people we interact with along our migraine journey not only shifts our focus from the negative aspects (and we know how many of those there are) of seeking treatment, it has a positive affect on how we view and interact with others. Think of it this we: while we interact with four or five people during any given appointment, the providers and staff interact with as many as 30 patients a day and sometimes more. It’s mind blowing!
I often brag on my neurologist, Dr. Shen, here in Greenville, SC. She and her nurse Tosha have a positive attitude every day. Dr. Shen says it helps make her patients comfortable and allows her to look at things with a more positive outlook which she can then instill in those of use who rely on her migraine and headache expertise.
Tosha always greets you with a smile, a trick she learned to help put her in a happy mental state each day. It’s HARD to be frustrated or upset with a smile on your face! A smile even changes the tone of our voice.
Expressing gratitude and thankfulness to our health care providers sends them the message that we care about them, that we value their time and effort on our behalf, and that while the circumstances frustrate us, we understand they are probably just as frustrated.
It all falls back to my mantra of choosing to become a better person as we walk through the low valleys of pain, instead of allowing our trials to make us bitter. Bitter or better – it’s your choice.