My bones ache. I sweat at night. I’m steadily losing weight. Who am I?
A breast cancer patient.
Pins and needles stab my feet. I can’t quench my thirst. I gain weight for no reason. Who am I?
A diabetes patient.
Electric shock travels down my leg. I can’t sit. I can’t stand. I can’t move. Who am I?
A chronic lumbar spine pain patient.
Lights attack me. Sounds destroy me. My throat fills with nausea. Who am I?
A migraine patient.
I type while you speak. I nod my head and listen. I examine. I decide. I prescribe. Who am I?
Your medical provider.
I walk with you.
I teach you.
I defend you.
Then I wore a crown for you.
I bled for you.
I took my last breath for you.
I took it all for you.
Then, I returned.
I still walk with you, teach you, and defend you.
Who am I?
Jesus Christ, the son of God.
The patients above are very basic examples of how we are taught in medical school. Once we grasp a lot of stereotypical patients and diagnoses, then we’re told to individualize medicine for each patient. Then we’re told to understand the patient and to meet the patient where they are physically, emotionally, culturally, and spiritually.
When I look at my schedule each day, I always glance at the “the reason for visit”. Are they here for a regular check up? For headaches? For a possible pregnancy? For leg pain?
And with that quick glance, a review of the patient’s chart, and a 10 minute encounter with the patient, I have to come up with possible diagnoses and treatment plans to make them feel better.
But what most people don’t realize is that these patients come in emotionally distraught over their medical conditions.
They cry from the pain.
They yell because “none of these doctors are helping me”.
And sometimes they give up because “I’m just going to have to deal with it.”
I have to remind these patients that their diabetes, their migraines, their hypothyroidism, their PCOS, their venous stasis dermatitis, their need for a new prosthetic are things that may DESCRIBE what they’re experiencing but they’re not things that DEFINE them.
So who is that migraine sufferer? She’s a mother of 3 that needs help with her migraines so she can attend her daughter’s dance recitals.
Who is that low back pain patient? He’s a construction worker that is having trouble working and paying the bills because the pain down his leg inhibits him from using the jack hammer too often.
Who is that cancer patient that is exhausted and barely eats? She’s a grandmother who is fighting to see her granddaughter’s high school graduation.
When my patients feel overwhelmed and completely engrossed in their medical conditions, I find a solution to help regain their quality of life.
hen Jesus absorbed each lash of the whip on his back, he thought of the mother of 3.
When Jesus wore the crown on his head, he thought of the man building houses for his community.
When Jesus took his last breath, he thought of all the difficulties each person faces.
And when Jesus rose from grave and conquered death, he thought of you. Not your sin. Not your troubles. Not your conditions. He thought of you.
Don’t let your medical condition define you.
Let Jesus define you.
You are chosen.
You are forgiven.
You are loved.