My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Friday, March 23, 2012


It used to be that if you had a terminal illness doctors would tell you "You have 6 months to live." They found many times people obliged so most docs no longer give a time frame.

Of course a physician has a wellspring of knowledge for many of the ills we suffer, "You have (this disease), this is what you can expect." They can give us a list of the potential issues but how much of a crystal ball do they really have and, more important, on what do we need to base our decisions about what they have seen for our future?

I was thinking about this because of the situation with my eye, that I wrote about in the post LITTLE THINGS (may) MEAN A LOT.

Everyone was sure my eye would have to be closed permanently at some point. They also told me my skin on the left side of my face would probably break down - in the far distant future. Of course, there is still time for this happen, but so far, 30 plus years, it has not.

I wonder about the effect of a doctor's pronouncement, with surety, on how we view our future, and our present.

Yes, they know what the books say, and what they have seen in their own practice; but do we give their words too much importence when they look in their 8 balls, when they become our psychics - this will happen?

It goes back to the idea of hope. How much weight do we give to their predictions?

It is always important to hear, and listen, to what they tell us, but we need to keep open our third ear. The one that says 'Ok. He is saying this (thing) could happen.'

But the operative word is 'could'. It does not mean definite, and the lack of the definite can open up a wealth of possibilities, the best being it has not yet happened.


  1. Hi Carol,
    Isn't this the truth! My mom has always said that you have to be your own doctor! And, never give up-never surrender!
    I would love your thoughts on my new blog!

    1. hi Renee,
      Mom knows. ((*_*)) And youre absolutely right.
      I will try to get over there.
      Thanks. Carol

  2. Carol -
    I have been to so many neurologists, neurosurgeons and other types of doctors that I have learned the hard way to ask very detailed questions, including what has their success rate been with their patients regarding a procedure, what effects did their patients have when he/she did their surgery, etc. In other words, I ask my questions and always remember that even if he says "You am a perfect candidate for X surgery and I am 80% sure it will have a positive effect," I don't always believe everything he says. At the same time, over the years, I also have learned not to give up hope, otherwise that sends me in a downward spiral and then most procedures may not work because my body is not open to the possible success.
    I am quite fortunate now. I have an excellent pain management doctor who I know is honest with me when I ask him and he does not speculate or try to paint himself as perfect. I trust him, and at the same time I still do my own research. Hope and self-trust are very important when battling life-long diseases. It can become difficult to keep going, but that is where our support systems come in to help us with our outlook and to be there when we need them.

    1. Hi Monique,
      Hope is such an important part of the equation. I have also learned that I need to walk away from any doc who is sure they have the right thing for me using words like perfect, only op for you, etc.
      That s great you have found a good pain care doc. It is not always easy to do.
      I like that term self-trust too.