"The Opposite of Fear is Curiosity."
It has been a roller coaster of a summer on the asthma front. I started the summer with news of improvement, and managed to be able to hold on to a really good stretch of being healthy, controlled, and having my asthma slip into the background of life. Then in what seem like a blink of an eye, a routine appointment revealed a bit of hiccup in my glorious health status. The doctors had discovered some slightly bizarre and perplexing test results. They were not super alarming but they did propose new questions on how my medication was working and that I would need close monitoring over the next little while. I feel like it is one step forward, and one step backwards with my asthma. Your mind can run to a fearful place and a disappointment on how you may be doing. While it may be difficult to keep from going to this place, you may find that some mindfulness may be helpful.
This can be super frustrating but it also provides some opportunities. The opportunity is that the events can lead to curiosities and seeking out information. In my case, it is the need to process “ALL” information or at least figure out where and what this means for my care.
I recently heard a great quote about a different approach to looking at problem and embracing problem solving “The opposite of fear is curiosity” by the amazing Dr. Larry Chu in an interview with Michael Seres. I think this is also an issue that gets doctors tied up in knots. You may have heard a doctor approach this with “I don’t know” or “there are no options” or even, “this is not working”. I do think my specialist is curious and resourceful but what I would love for us as providers and patients is to approach our fear as curiosities. I think it would not only lighten the mood but I think a fresh approach could help.
Where to start when you need to reproach healthcare?
Curiosity is not only appropriate, for research based things but what about creative approaches to speaking with doctors, trying outside the box ideas for treatment or even hacking health. Patients are doing incredible things to move health care forward. We are moving the bar on health social network, consumer personalized medicine and quantified self-tracking.2
Patient driven health care can be described as an increase level of information flow, transparency, customization, collaboration and patient choice and responsibility taking.1 These approaches are thought to improve existing health care systems and bring about new ones.
I would love to hear your stories of how you are making a difference in your own care? Are you a quantified patient? Have you redesigned a device or system to make your care easier or even your life easier as patient. Are you trailblazing a system to make all patient lives better?
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