September 15th, 2011
I’m a huge fan of Survivor and, for those of you who don’t know, they just began a new season. There are many reasons I love this show but one of the biggest is that there are some valuable life lessons.
Because I’m so enamored with how we manage our health and communicating clearly with our providers, I see almost everything in life as in some way analogous to healthcare.
So, without further ado, here’s are the life lessons I noticed along with the analogy to your health issues:
1. Use the twitter version to explain your story: During Tribal Council (where a player is eliminated) one of the characters, Cochran, explained how he may be perceived as a nerd, but despite his translucent skin, sweater vest, and blah blah blah he is an asset to the tribe. You could see on the faces of his tribe that his explaining wasn’t helping to keep him on the tribe.
The healthcare analogy: Use the free Appointment Preparation Worksheet from my website to explain what’s going on with you when you go to see your healthcare provider. By thinking through your situation ahead of time, you’ll be able to focus on what you most want to get resolved.
2. Don’t try and hide your tattoo: One of the characters. Brandon. is the nephew of Russell, a previous cast member on Survivor who was notorious for being a villain. His last name, Hanz, is literally tattooed on his back and on his upper arm. His strategy is to make an excuse for never taking off his shirt despite the fact that they are in the South Pacific where it’s hot, and the tasks are grueling.
The healthcare analogy: Be honest with your healthcare provider about what’s going on with you. For example, if you’re going to see your psychiatrist and you’ve been really struggling with depression, you may also feel a “tattoo of shame”. You so wish it wasn’t true; you don’t want to associate yourself with it. It’s been my experience that the more honest we are with our healthcare provider’s about what we’re truly struggling with (rather than hiding that “”tattoo of shame), while also being succinct, the more likely it is that they can address our needs appropriately.
3. Ask for help and work as a team: The first challenge was between Ozzy and Coach, who are well known cast-members who were brought back to join the show this season. This began as an individual dual and Ozzy quickly turned it into a team dual when he had to put a puzzle together and couldn’t see the big picture. He did this by saying: “Help me out guys!”
The healthcare analogy: When you have chronic pain or a mental health issue, it’s absolutely vital that you ask for help and work as a team with your healthcare provider as well as close family and friends who want to be supportive. Other people who are on the outside looking in can often see the big picture and offer you a perspective on things when you’re too close to see it yourself.
If you follow Survivor, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What life lessons did you see demonstrated in the show? Do you see any analogies to how you handle your health and what you saw?
Tune in next week for life lessons and healthcare analogies from episode 2 of season 23 Survivor South Pacific!!