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

Everyone Has An Opinion

Ever notice that following your diagnosis everyone you meet has an opinion about your health and your care?  It’s as all these people overnight attended a crash course in the health field and feel compelled, and more interestingly, qualified to give you an opinion about your health.

There is one up side to this and that is, if the person is sharing information gained through an article read, a news cast, or some other credible source then that’s different from offering an opinion.  In those instances the person is expanding your knowledge base while taking an interest in and showing you that they care about you and your health.

It’s important to weed out those conversations that are opinion based and not fact based.  Making decisions about treatment is difficult enough without the fear factor thrown into the mix.  If you’re going to have a consulting circle of friends and family there are a couple of things to consider; what’s their motivation? and what are their qualifications?  Just because someone themselves has had a health challenge doesn’t make them an expert on anything but their own health challenge.

The first step is to set limits with those that are causing you more harm than good.  It’s your prerogative, your right, and your choice to let others know when and how you’d like their input on your health.  It’s your health so drawing a line in the sand saying only pass on credible information is within your rights as it’s your life and your health.  Don’t let others sabotage your health and healing efforts with scare tactics or what if situations.  If you have any concerns please consult your medical team as they are prepared to answer your questions.  If you feel you need even more information I suggest you ask your primary care physician/internist for a referral to a specialist.

The difficult part is that those offering opinions overwhelmingly are doing it out of love.  Unfortunately, they are unaware of the impact their sharing is having on you as you make difficult decisions about your care.  Information that provides clarity should always be welcomed or information that allows you to go to your next doctor’s appointment with informed questions is a plus.  Communication that places doubt or fear on your radar screen has to be quarantined and eliminated.

Setting limits is difficult and may be difficult at first.  If you have any questions about how or when to set limits feel free to e-mail me at greg@survivingstrong.com.

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