1 For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free e-zine which will have the weeks tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, write e-zine in the subject, and you’ll receive the e-zine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.
2 I’ve created a FREE DVD. It covers various topics to make your lives easier. From how to talk to your doctor to the real scoop on pain management groups to exercise, to social situation etc etc. Please go to www.drgenemartin.com to get yours. One great piece of feedback is people telling me how the chapter on “how to speak to your doctor” about fibro is especially good. In other words, how not to have the doc dismiss you in 5 minutes. I’m really happy these are helping. So far we’ve sent out over 2100. Again it is FREE and meant to be a help to those I can’t help in person. (The the way, the feedback has been great and these are non-profit projects).
My New Year’s Resolution
For the past 25 or so years, I’ve always made the same New Year’s resolution, and unfortunately, I’ve never been able to live up to it. I fail much more often than I succeed. My excuse, I’m human.
What is this resolution? No, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t procrastinate, I exercise daily, I’m not overweight etc etc etc. (these are the common ones people always talk about.)
My New Year’s Resolution is always: I will not be judgmental, I will not judge people. You know something; this is possibly the hardest one to keep. We are so conditioned to judge, that we don’t even realize we do it, yet we do it constantly.
Since my practice is limited to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, every time I receive a call from a prospective patient, certain thoughts run through my head. Will this patient be difficult, will he/she show up, if this person becomes a patient, will they follow instructions and will they constantly complain. I also question myself: Will I be able to help this patient and will I do the best I possibly can. Yes; I even judge myself (in fact we all do).
Interestingly, time after time, I’ve always found my patients to be lovely, warm, certainly compliant and just the nicest people. I always do the best I can and really do care about all my patients, yet I judge myself.
So, why do we all judge.
I’m not sure, I suppose it starts when we’re children, our parents, (though they generally love us), want us to do well in school so we try to live up to their expectations, the teachers judge us, our friends judge; as we get older and work, our employers and co-workers judge us. Add to this all the advertising and media of the perfect woman with the gorgeous looks, the perfect housewife, raising her 3 children while even working a full time job, the television shows where the characters are handsome, witty and charming ; thus we can’t help but compare ourselves and we start comparing others and making judgments.
Interestingly, the great majority of times, when we judge somebody, without knowing anything about them, we are wrong.
Ever been in an elevator with a person who has an angry look on their face, perhaps you say good morning and get a snappy reply back. We judge, but for all we know, that person might have just received a notice that they are being audited by the I.R.S., or found out that their child received an “F” in algebra, or even that they were given a work project that is due in 3 hours. Perhaps, someone close to them just passed away. We really know so little.
Now, what about the person with Fibromyalgia? Since it is so often invisible, one day a person might feel good enough to smile, the next day, they might look and feel miserable and be in no position to chit-chat. In fact, I would bet that there are many people with Fibromyalgia whom you see daily, yet you have no idea that they are sick.
Add to this, the constant judgments you receive from the many different doctors you see. Sure some are nice and caring, but you’ve all had those Docs who give you 5 minutes of their time and feel that it is a privilege for you to pay them $450.00 for these minutes. How about the Docs who deny that you are sick? What about those doctors who tell you that the symptoms are in your head. What about the disabled fibro patients who cannot get disability after applying again and again. It’s easy to become judgmental and distrustful (it’s close cousin).
Yet, as I had mentioned, being judgmental is not good nor is it healthy, sure there are some pretty nasty people out there, but I would guess that most people are nice, want to be liked and want to live a healthy and safe life. Being judgmental is a cycle, the more we judge, the more we get in the habit of judging.
I continue to make the same resolution year after year, perhaps over time, I’ve gotten better, but will I ever reach the point of being a non-judgmental person; most probably not, but I’ll keep trying.
I’m only human.