Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

The Key Ingredient in Making Healthcare Decisions

You have tons of decisions to make on a daily basis.  Life is one continuous decision.  Now add a diagnosis to the mix of decision-making…feeling a bit ovewhelmed?  Once the dust settles and you can hear and respond to your doctor there are plenty of decisions to make regarding your care so where do you begin?

If you don’t let the dust settle you end up making decisions without a sense of being grounded.  Decisions about your healthcare wind up being ethereal.  This is no time to have your head in the clouds. 

I was watching a rerun of The West Wing, and the President, played by Martin Sheen states the following, “Decisions are made by those who show up.”  That’s a very powerful statement because it makes a request, maybe even a demand of you that requires action instead passivity. It requires that you show up for yourself in a way you may have never show up before for any decision in your life.

Showing up means not only being informed, but having the capacity and the willingness to advocate for yourself.  Like any other skill it may require a bit of training, but it’s totally doable.  Being catapulted into this arena means you have a steep learning curve, but the key to showing up is becoming resilient to challenges.  Resiliency or the ability to bounce back is a key component to making good decisions.  It’s difficult to make good decisions when you’ve been knocked to the ground and unable to get back up.

This may be a good time to take a personal inventory of your ability to show up.  When have you showed up in the past where you were conscious and engaged in the decision-making process.  How do decisions about your healthcare differ from decisions in the past and how are they similar.  I’d venture to say that even though the content may be different the process of decision making may be the same.  Did the process work for you last time or does it need to be tweaked?

Show up!  Show up!  Show up!  In case you didn’t get the message…Show up!

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