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

If Dr. Mehmet Oz Said It; It Must Be True

Dr. Mehmet Oz aside from being a talk show host, is an accomplished cardio-thoracic surgeon in New York City.  He first came to the attention of the public as one of Oprah Winfrey’s proteges and has certainly staked his claim as one of America’s leading authorities on health and healing, beyond just cardiac issues.  His warm inviting demeanor and his passion for his work shines through whenever I’ve seen him on television.  He’s the kind of doctor you hope for if you ever need to be in the hospital.

I’m a fan of the hospital reality shows.  Loved watching the first, “Johns Hopkins”, then on to “Boston Med”, and now “NY Med”.  There’s something, at least for me, about watching the drama in an inner city hospital that shines a lot of light on the process of medicine, the dedication of medical providers, and the amount of teamwork it takes to make sure we, the patient’s all come out alive (or at least most of us).

It was during one of Dr. Oz’s consultations with a man he had been monitoring for a few years that brought his insight of mind-body medicine to the forefront.  The man was having heart surgery and Dr. Oz asked him if anyone had come with him.  The man replied, “No”, at which time Dr. Oz asked if there was someone in his life who would come with him when he had the surgery.  The patient promptly replied his ex-wife would be the designated individual.

Dr. Oz proceeded to call the ex-wife, explain the patient’s impending surgery, and asked her if she would come to be his support.  Dr. Oz, in a commentary to the camera, explained that he wouldn’t perform surgery if the patient doesn’t have someone who loves them present.  He said, “A heart that doesn’t have a reason to beat, stops beating”.  There it was, just like the Beatles sang, “All You Need is Love”.  Dr. Oz gave credence to the idea that love is as much a part of the healing process as a scalpel.  That belief is invigorating, and provides hope that mind-body medicine is alive and well.

Who do you have waiting for you to encourage you when you are going to the doctor, for a treatment, or lab procedures?  I can understand that when having surgery having the person who loves you physically present is critical to feeling loved.  However, if you’re having some other medical appointment who do you have that you can contact to share your experience?  Who is in your life that wants and needs to know how things went?  Who is in your corner that knows and understands how scary the medical world can be for someone with a chronic or life-threatening illness?

Love is like having a cozy blanket wrapped around our soul.  It’s the cornerstone of health and healing because it makes us feel as if our presence on this earth matters.  Love provides us with connection and creates meaning in our lives.  In addition, it’s always helpful to have those people who tell us, “it will be ok”, even if we know in our heart of hearts it may not…hope prevails because of love and connection.  Thanks Dr. Oz!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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