My husband and I discussed this at great length last night and I thought it deserved a mention. So, I have endometriosis, I have known for around six years but have had it for about 12. I am honestly ok with it, I understand it, I get amazing support from my family and friends, but most of all I feel safe in the knowledge that I trust my consultant. I feel like whatever happens he will know what to do!
What makes me trust him? Why does this have such a profound effect on how I cope? I gave it a great deal of thought, especially as I am a Health Psychologist (and self confessed hypochondriac). Let me take you back to the day I was diagnosed, by a lovely kind lady consultant. Unfortunately she was a little taken aback by the amount of damage the endometriosis had done and she felt that I couldn't be operated on and explained I would struggle to have children. Being me, I immediately researched for a second opinion. The first meeting I had with my consultant changed everything. He was calm, he gave excellent eye contact, he didn't have a computer near him and he listened. It quickly became clear that he was a control freak, now this is exactly the quality that you want in a consultant. He wanted all explorations redone by him and his team. I underwent a long and uncomfortable recovery after the main operation but I made a full recovery and got pregnant with my son. I remember feeling so confident as I was wheeled down the corridor for the operation, I remember through the pain during the aftermath of the operation feeling positive that everything was well. Typically I don't trust and feel confident about things to do with Drs and operations, I am a suspicious Health Psychologist (googler of symptoms). However with my consultant I relinquish the need to try to control, and be suspicious and I just go with the flow. Not only is being in a relaxed trusting state better for my mental health, but it's so much better for my body. My body can recover and function much better.
So, I found myself back in his waiting room this week, a little concerned to be back sooner than I hoped. He shock my hand as I went in, he listened and I mean he really listened. We discussed my concerns and he wanted to know about my life and interests. He reassured me and didn't rush me. He often gets criticised for running late, but I don't think that's a bad thing, NHS or private patients, he takes his time equally. He prides himself on his attention to detail and that he came from a poor background and succeeded. You can tell he wants to get the full picture with his patients and he wants them to know about him too. He never types on a keyboard and he certainly doesn't look stressed and hurried. All of his patients look calm and that's really saying something. You don't come away thinking that you have a fight on your hands, that this is a battle of the body. You feel at ease, as though it's just an experience, you can almost just accept it all as it is. The combination of excellent people skills, honesty, integrity and attention to detail leave me feeling safe. He even told me that he practices mindfulness, well he certainly couldn't rate any higher in my book just now.
We can all be a little more compassionate at work, with people around us, it makes life so much better. Compassion is catching, when you radiate it, it generally comes back to you. Its the compassion that can make all the difference. Life is richer with kindness.