Does Your Doctor “Get” You?
So I’m at a restaurant, about to order my favorite salad with a slight twist: I’ve decided to top it with grilled salmon instead of my usual grilled chicken and my husband peeks over the corner of the menu and says, “Danger, Will Robinson!”
I smile wryly, content with the instant connection we have. No further words are needed. And if our ages separated us more than 7 1/2 years, I might not have “gotten” him.
I LOVE how I “get” my hubby and how he “gets” me. The 1960’s phrase that he uttered told me in 3 words what took him at least 10 years to learn: that my food is really important to me and that every time that I’ve changed one of my “favorites,” I haven’t like it nearly as well. It’s a little thing, but it’s really a very big thing. Because when we get each other, it reinforces the emotional bond between us. That bond strengthens with time and so does the trust.
What happens, really, is something remarkable. I begin to rely on his suggestions. Maybe I even take his advice more than once in a while, because he has found his way into my heart and become a trusted friend. Not only in good times, but in bad times, too.
The same way Doctor Ruben finds his way into his patients’ hearts. Through genuine care and thoughtful concern for what he knows their end goals to be: health, wellness, happiness, and the desire to be whole again.
For some patients, this means hearing difficult, scary news about what needs to happen in order to heal. Sometimes it means removing infected knee-replacement hardware in order to clear up an infection. Sometimes it means removing part of a patient’s colon in order to offset repetitive bodily fluids on the surface of the skin, and sometimes it means telling a paraplegic that he must spend 6 hours on bed rest in order to heal.
Delivering this type of news is difficult and can only result in a positive situation when trust is present. When the patient trusts Doctor Ruben, miracles can occur. And we’ve seen quite a few over the years.
Like the time patient came into us with septic shock only to find out that western medicine wasn’t the answer: his medical problem was ONLY responsive to Eastern, Chinese medicine. After several failed attempts at highly reputable institutions like Mayo Clinic and his own western methodologies, Dr. Ruben’s last attempt was Traditional Chinese Herbs. Herbs….an unlikely and unconventional method of healing, according to us “westerners.” Consequently, the patient trusted him and got well, after nearly dying in a local hospital just 6 weeks earlier.
Or there’s the time that one of our patients had a non-healing bed sore. After years of unsuccessful treatment elsewhere, the patient came to us and Dr. Ruben recommend a partial, “temporary” colectomy intended to remove the constant moisture on the skin for a period of time. This recommendation was only accepted by the patient because of the trusting bond they had developed, despite the patient’s initial fear.
Both of these examples were successful, not necessarily because of the Dr. Ruben’s astute medical knowledge, but because of the close relationship that Dr. Ruben had with each of these patients and the existing trust between them. Trust goes a long way in any relationship…not in just your personal ones.
So the next time your best friend or your spouse “gets” you, think about whether or not your doctor gets you, too. The result may not be as innocent as Lost In Space‘s end of episode (or even the age-old debate of whether Judy and Dan ever really got together,) but it could make the difference between wellness and sickness for you.
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