No body wants to be in pain. One of the many reasons I went into surgery after medical school was that I wanted to fix people – right now. Patience was never really my strong suit. I went into surgery because as a medical student in the ER I got to help save a man’s life in an instant when we took him to surgery after he was shot. I wanted to save lives. During my residency I realized that saving a life in an instant was important but it may not improve or necessarily heal it. I craved more depth and better results.
One of my favorite Dilbert cartoons is one where Dilbert goes in to the doctor with some symptoms. The doctor goes through a process and begins to explain to him. Dilbert says to him “Just give me a pill you quack!” Throughout my years in practice, I’ve come to realize that patience is required for healing to occur.
We tend to think that an illness is a terrible thing. If you have physical pain, it is hard to believe that anything good can come of it. Usually we feel fear, anger, helplessness, and vulnerability when illness strikes. Illness can be viewed as an opportunity to examine your life and body more closely.
Give yourself time to heal
Coming to acceptance that you have an illness is the first step toward healing. This may be a surprise to you. You may be thinking that if you accept your illness it means you won’t want to do anything about it, but that isn’t the case. Acceptance means that you acknowledge and agree that whatever is occurring to you is there for a reason.
While you may not know the reason, you accept that your body is wise and trying to lead you to a new place. You will do everything in your power to heal and not let the illness get you down even while you have a deep acceptance that this issue is here. Have you ever had a pet get sick? When your pet is sick, it doesn’t argue with the fact that it feels ill, it just surrenders to the illness and accepts it. There is only the here and now with your dog or cat. It isn’t thinking about how it wants to go back to how it used to feel.
By thinking positively about healing, your goal is to get the most from your experience. First decide that healing is your goal. Don’t let the fact that you have an illness get you down or stop you from living your life. Learn what you can about it. Research all the possible treatments that you can find. See what is happening to you as an opportunity to learn something new. As you research treatment options, check in with yourself to see which one will be best for you. If your doctor has a recommendation for treatment that you don’t feel will be good for you, continue to look for other answers.
Being Positive is a Healing Power
Janie came to me a few years ago after suffering chronic sore throats for years. She was a singer who needed her voice. She had been on antibiotics many times but she still had sore throats. She wanted another answer. When I began treating her, she had many other physical issues that were related to antibiotics. Her digestion was a mess, she was tired all the time, and she got regular migraines.
She began with a course of herbs, acupuncture, and thyroid medications. At first she was a bit better. Then about two months into it, she got a sore throat. She immediately panicked and called me. I offered antibiotics but she refused them. Throughout the next year, she had ups and downs in her healing process but never gave up on getting better. The last thing to change for her was her diet. After she changed her diet, she stopped getting ill and hasn’t been ill for over five years now.
Many illnesses are connected to deep inner beliefs about life. Janie had a mother who was chronically ill. Her main connection to her mother was when she was ill herself. Part of her healing involved dealing with her convoluted relationship to being healthy.
Once you embark on the path that will lead you back to your health, be willing to have patience. It will take time for you to feel the changes. Sometimes, you’ll feel better pretty quickly and then have what seems like a recurrence. By tuning in with your body, you can see if you’re still on the right path or if something needs to change. You really can listen and learn from your own body.