November Gratitude Shorts, Day 17
As I lay on the table in physical therapy today I thought, how fortunate I am to have healthcare insurance that allows me to come every week and get help for my pain and dysfunction. I always leave feeling better, and my therapist knows exactly what’s going on and what to do.
I also have an incredible trainer. She has a sixth sense for my mood and readiness for challenge each session. She is also a lifelong learner, and seeks new knowledge from reading and conferences, among other things. When I share assessments between these two dedicated providers, they each integrate the other’s recommendations and the results are synergistic.
My primary care doctor has ‘the three A’s’ that matter most to us patients, in order: Availability, Affability, and Ability. He also cares for my children, and manages their hypervigilant internist mom with kindness and patience.
My therapist is a Godsend. I don’t have depression or anxiety, nor psychosis or a personality disorder, that I know of. But I have my share of emotional baggage, and having an objective professional to help me sort and process has proven invaluable in all aspects of my life. Long-established thought, feeling, and behavior patterns show up repeatedly, wearing slightly different outfits each visit. Through therapy I have learned to recognize the party crashers more easily, and manage them better over time. Sometimes they are allowed to stay, and I make sure they know the rules. Other times they get thrown out, again. Therapy helps me keep my inner house in order, so that I may welcome and integrate new knowledge and wisdom.
But my team includes more than just my healthcare providers. I have a strong cadre of close friends upon whom I can call at any time, and who will answer always with love and understanding. I recently had a sudden personal dilemma that caused me considerable angst. I emailed a few of these friends and each of them responded immediately with exactly the wisdom I needed… Not necessarily what I wanted, but that’s what true friends do–they tell you the truth with kindness, compassion, and unconditional love.
I also count my parents, sisters, husband, children, neighbors, some colleagues, and many others, as team members. The NFL comes to mind… Choose your team–each is comprised of literally hundreds of people, all working for the shared purpose of making the team, as a whole, the best it can be.
I cannot think of how my team could possibly be better. And it’s not just about me. I am a member of each other person’s team, too. We all hold each other up.
An idea came to me in conversation this past weekend, when I spoke to a fellow internist about physician burnout and patient satisfaction: We cannot separate my well-being from your well-being, if we are in relationship. And we are all in relationship. So let us take care of one another.