Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We Each Have A Story

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. I was at my intake appointment at Pain Management of North Idaho, over in Coeur d'Alene (the only pain management doctor/clinic in the entire Greater Spokane area). During a very long assessment with the Nurse Practioner, she asked a lot of questions about my cancers and bone marrow transplant. Since I have the answers down pat, I was just rolling off my standard replies and explanations. It really wasn't until the end of the appointment, and hour and a half later, that it really hit me that she had said that her brother had not survived his transplant. Huh.

So as I gave my medical professional version of my health, she already knew alot of it. But I had failed to LISTEN, to really hear what she was saying. She had a story too. Not too proud of this one.

I wrote her a note today, confessing my self-absorption. I genuinely hope that at my next appointment that she will share with me about her brother, who he was, his journey and hers.

So this really got me thinking about how many other times I have tuned people out because I am not listening. We all do it, but I know I need to work on this. It goes onto my Goals List for 2010.

I should have learned a little about this from my WalMart experience around a month ago. I'm walking along (think very early am to avoid crowds) and a woman says to me, "God, I wish I was skinny like you." I took a couple more steps, turned around and went back. It was the proverbial straw breaking the camel's back. So I say to her, "Well, you probably could be but you have to have alot of cancer, have a BMT, and still be really sick all the time." I'm pissed. I am so tired of people commenting on my weight! Like I think this is attractive?!

So the poor woman who is receiving my months of frustration, who is very overweight and in a wheelchair, says to me, "Honey, that's how I lost my leg. I had lymphoma."

Lesson learned. The hard way.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Wow. Good lessons there. I live in my own mind so often that I could have easily made the same comments. Thank you for your Christmas card.

Be well,
Amy in Seattle