Posts Tagged ‘stress’

I have a theory. If each one of us took the time to consider the consequences of our actions before we said or did something, we could create a really happy life for ourselves. I came to this conclusion recently as I contemplated how to best handle a rather sticky situation with which I am currently dealing. Quickly stated, I recently had a consultation with a doctor to whom I had been referred by the medical group in which I am enrolled. At the end of the consultation, I was a bit uncomfortable with the way he had chosen to address the matter under discussion and as a result of his subsequent actions I had decided that I did not have the trust in him to perform a surgery that I would need. But then I started to second guess myself. After all, I am not a doctor. What do I know about this procedure? But, I just could not shake the feeling that there was something wrong and that perhaps part of the hesitancy on my part was that I didn’t want to confront the matter.

Then I became extremely uncomfortable about having to confront this situation but I knew in my gut that I could not just let the matter go. I knew that I did not want to create any type of a bad situation for this doctor. After all, he just wasn’t the right one for me but I am sure that there are plenty of other individuals who have been very pleased with him. I needed to find another doctor but I wasn’t sure how I should do that. I considered asking my primary care physician but I had called her and asked for a recommendation before I made the appointment for the consultation and she indicated that any one of three within the group was fine. So, now I have eliminated my PCP. In addition, I don’t think that I would have been comfortable walking into the same office to see either of the other two doctors that were in the same practice after “firing” their partner.

The situation was growing. This surgery was to be one of a two part surgery being done by two different surgeons. I had discussed the matter with the other surgeon before my consultation and he indicated that he knew the other surgeon and he even addressed the matter with him directly before my consultation. After the consultation the two doctors spoke again and the consulting doctor indicated to the second doctor that he did not want to do the combo surgery and after hearing his explanation, the second doctor called me and indicated that he was fine with doing them separately.

I called my second doctor back and am waiting to hear from him. As I wait for a call back, I keep running over and over in my mind how I want to explain the situation without coming off “wrong”. I wake up during the night trying to figure out exactly what I want to say and then I can’t go back to sleep. I am getting nervous with the anticipation. But finally this afternoon, I decided that enough is enough. I have taken into consideration all of the information with which I have to work. I have researched the names of some other doctors who meet the criteria that I need and plan to ask for a recommendation from my doctor when he calls. And if he doesn’t have a recommendation, I will just have a consultation with one of the other choices and make a decision when I have met with a doctor with whom I am comfortable. After all, this is my surgery and I must first consider what is best for me and take responsibility for my choices. It doesn’t really matter what another doctor may think about those choices. This is my life and I need to be comfortable and in a positive frame of mind in order to expect the best outcome. And that applies to every aspect of my life. Now I have a smile back on my face!


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So I had my surgery on Tuesday and everything went well.  I have tried to stay focused on all of the positive things in my life but I think that all of the stress of two rounds of cancer and three surgeries and the loss of my brother in a little more than a year began to catch up with me.  I could only see all of the sad things that had happened and couldn’t help but wonder if this was only a prelude to the future.

Thank heavens that Kirk had taken the time off from work this week to spend with me and basically do everything possible for me.  He has taken care of my every need and I don’t know what I would have done without him.  That is why it was most important that when I completely fell apart, he was also there for me. 

He listened and listened and listened as I talked and sobbed and told him how I was feeling.  He understood that it had nothing to do with him and that which was most important was my just being able to vent.  I talked about not only the current frustrations of the last 6 days but also about how they were just the latest manifestation of the same patterns over a very long period time.   

After I was done, we chatted for awhile and afterward, I felt such a great sense of relief and release that I knew that I could no longer hold on to the past and the behaviors that had led me to such sad, sad feelings.  I suddenly realized that I felt better than I had felt in quite some times.  I didn’t want to feel like I had in the recent past and I am determined that what is in the past will remain there.

Regardless of what else may come my way, the most wonderful holidays are right around the corner and I intend to enjoy them and am anticipating them as much as I did when I was a little kid.  Thanksgiving has always been my favorite and this year I have even more than ever for which to be thankful.  I will be spending Christmas with my family and sharing the time with those people who love me the most in this world.  And then there is the New Year which represents a whole new beginning but this year, I do not intend to wait until January 1.  Today is the beginning of my new year and my new life and the most exciting things yet to come and they are all just covered with a big mound of whipped cream.  Kirk will understand that!



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So last week I wrote all about stress and how to handle it.  And this week I got a chance to practice what I wrote and I am still laughing at my very inept approach and its subsequent outcome.  On Friday, I had to see my physician for a pre-op exam and my blood pressure had gone to places that I had never heard of.  I couldn’t believe my ears when the doctor told me that it was because of stress that I was internalizing.  What???????  I didn’t feel stressed.  I know what stress is and how to deal with it.  This just couldn’t be.  Well, it was.


Over the weekend, I had to follow up with blood pressure checks and the blood pressure dropped but then on Monday when I had to go back to the doctor’s office, it was right up there again so I was started on medication.  I will have to wait until tomorrow to find out if I am cleared for surgery on Thursday but I sure learned a big lesson.


Stress does not always manifest itself in ways that we recognize.  I have had no external signs that I was busy stuffing away all of the emotions that I was feeling.  When I did take the time to figure out what it was that was bothering me, I realized that I was trying to be “strong” and “brave” and I tried to rationalize everything by simply focusing on whatever positive aspects that I could find and ignoring all of the other feelings that were lying just below the surface.


But, all was not lost.  Because I did take the time to try to figure out what really was going on, I was in a better position to discuss the appropriate course of treatment with my doctor to produce the best positive results for me.  It also helped me to understand that sometimes there are just too many things going on at one time for a person to handle and there is nothing wrong with getting the professional help that is needed.  In my particular case, as soon as I started the medication, I was immediately aware of the fact that I felt differently and my doctor did indeed know exactly what was wrong and what would fix it.  For that, I will be eternally grateful.


So tomorrow when I go back to the doctors for another blood pressure check, I feel like there is a really good chance that the levels will have fallen to something that is acceptable to allow for the surgery.  I really don’t want to have to postpone it to a later date after having to wait so long for this date.  But, I also know that if I do have to wait, it is because that is the best thing for me at this time and that is what is most important.  And I also know that if I do have to wait, I will ultimately understand why.


I am still laughing at myself over this incident and I hope that I have learned this very valuable lesson so that I don’t have to repeat it again.  I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to know what it is like to have that stress gone and to know that life can be even simpler than I had realized.  I realized that there is a level of life that allows for so much joy and happiness on a daily basis and now I know that as happy and content as I felt before, there is something even better.  Wow, what a ride!!!

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Last week I indicated in my blog that I would be addressing the subject of responsibility this week.  However, when I started to write about it, the right information just wouldn’t come.  I selected three other subjects and started to write about each of them but the words didn’t materialize.  Time was passing.  I wanted to post a new blog on Tuesday as I do each week.  On Sunday I sat and stared at the computer screen.  On Monday I worked and then went to dinner with a friend.  When I got home, I kept trying to write and kept getting interrupted until it was time for bed and I still had no inspiration.  But as I woke this morning, I suddenly realized that I was feeling stressed about meeting a deadline and that was no way to be creative.  At that moment I knew exactly what I needed to write about this week – stress.


It is my belief that the two major components of unhappiness and ill health are the lack of enough sleep and stress.  Forget the stuff that they say about smoking and drinking and overeating, etc.   They are not nearly as hard on us as the other two.  The sleep situation is easy to fix – just go to bed earlier and allow for the 8 hours.  The stress can be a little harder to handle until you take the time to assess what really creates stress.  It is fear. 


Our fears cause us to worry and our worrying causes us to create stress.  If stress was only a mental matter, it would be a different story but that mental stress creates stress on our bodies and manifests itself ultimately in illness and disease.  In other words stress causes us distress.  It can also cause us to not get enough sleep at night.  So what do we do about it?


Each time you find yourself worrying/stressing over something, try to take the time to ask yourself what it is that you are stressing about.  Whether it is a matter of money, job concerns, doing a presentation, meeting a deadline or whatever else, what does your stressing do to change the situation or make the matter improve?  If you answer, nothing, you are absolutely correct.  You are using all of your good energy to perpetuate a bad behavior for yourself.  And if you are honest with yourself and review stressful situations from the past, you will find that in most situations, nothing turned out the way that you expected and you wasted your valuable time and energy on a non-existent situation.


So, take some deep breathes and start working to set aside your worry and stress by refocusing your energy and your thoughts toward finding solutions to what it is that is causing your stress.  If it is money, perhaps you might consider getting a second job or looking for another job in your field that pays more money.  If it is an emergency, perhaps a family member can assist you but providing a short-term loan.  If it is a problem with paying certain bills, you can call your creditors and try to work out something with them.  There are so many alternatives that you might consider as long as you are not focused on the lack of money, the fear of the consequences of that lack, etc.


Job performance is another major area that stresses people to a great extent.  There again, it is a matter of putting things in perspective.  No one knows everything about any subject no matter how long you have done a particular job or performed in a certain area of expertise.  It is the smart person who acknowledges this and realizes that there is no reason to stress over anything if you take your energy and divert it to finding the answers that you are seeking and go and get them.  It may also be that you may have to do a presentation in front of a large group and you are so afraid that you will screw it up.  If you have ever observed anyone giving a speech or presentation, you will soon realize that no one ever does a perfect job.  Look at the current political candidates that are running for president.  Every time that you turn around, they have made some remarks or comments that are major faux pas and yet they don’t collapse under the weight of stressing about the next time that they have to speak. If you take the time to know your material, run through it several times and talk to the people in the room as you would a group of your friends, you will do just fine every time.  If you are questioned during the presentation about something for which you don’t have an answer, you simply respond that you don’t have that information but you will get it and get back to the person who is posing the question.


So it goes with every single thing that presents itself in our lives.  We can choose to focus on those things which will cause us so much stress that we can’t even see the forest for the trees or when we find ourselves in stressful situations, we can stop ourselves, focus on some positive alternatives and work out a solution to those situations.  The rewards are so much more gratifying and each time that we have a success, it makes it easier to create a pattern of successes.  The choice is up to you.

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