Whether you’re the one who is struggling with your health or whether you’re the loved one doing your best to be helpful, there are four concepts that I use as the foundation of my business:
- Empathy: This is a basic understanding that you’ve been dealt a hand you didn’t bargain for and how it’s really affecting your life. It’s not a pity party – it’s a compassionate stance towards yourself and your situation that lets you “get on your own team” instead of fighting with yourself that this shouldn’t be happening
- Willingness to Notice What’s Happening: It is so important to notice your symptoms, discomfort, what makes things better and what makes things harder in your life. By being knowledgeable about your own experience, you can share this important information with others who can help you.
- Communicate: When you understand what’s going on with you, you can then share it with your providers and with others in your circle. By being clear about your needs, you have a better chance of getting those needs met.
- Listen: Sharing what’s true for you is only part of the equation. The other piece is making sure you understand what is being recommended. This is where many people become frustrated because they haven’t taken the time to be sure that they clearly understand what is being suggested.
- Discern: Once you have let others know what is happening and understand clearly what is being recommended, it is vital that you ask yourself whether what is being offered is truly a match for your needs.
With empathy for your situation and a willingness to observe what’s going on, you have the tools to have a conversation about what’s best for you. Once you have a clear understanding about that, you can then decide what to do.
Would you rather talk about this personally with me? Let me know and we’ll set up a 15 minute free consult to see if I can help you.
Without this clear communication, you can have the most renowned health care providers and still feel frustrated and overwhelmed. You can also be doing your best to be truly supportive of your loved one and completely miss the mark, leaving you exhausted and annoyed.
I refer to this concept as the Patient Power Process. It’s an on-going interactive communication between you, your providers, and those who care about you designed to help you make informed choices, and enjoy your life.
So, how does this really work?
Here’s an example. My client was struggling with severe back pain. Despite physical therapy, taking her pain medication as needed and being aware of her posture, this pain continued with no let up.
I asked her to track for a week what she was doing when her pain was at its worst and she realized her pain was most intense in the evening while relaxing with her family watching TV.
I suggested that she discuss her insight with her physical therapist. The physical therapist showed her some floor exercises to do while watching TV. The client agreed to try that and her back pain improved.
By using the Patient Power process, my client was able to hear herself think through her situation and get the healthcare she needed. That’s how this works. It’s a simple process that is actually deep common sense, and also counter intuitive when you’re in pain and just want to be over it already.
It’s completely understandable that when you’re in distress you want it to disappear immediately.
However, the truth is that in order to really feel better, you need to slow things down enough to observe what’s happening and then take action.
Whether you’re the one who’s struggling right now or taking care of someone who is ill, there is help for you.
Take the first step by downloading the Appointment Preparation Worksheet.