Nobody Lives in Your Body But You

sgoAll told, I’ve probably sat in a doctor’s office waiting room for years. I wasn’t even a patient back then.  As an oncology (cancer) representative for a pharmaceutical company and later as a national trainer, my job was to present clinical trials data to doctors and nurses, side effect management updates and any other pertinent information they could use to more effectively treat patients. First the patients were called into the doc’s office.  Then the reps. That was the way it was for me every day.

I’d notice the patients and often their families being escorted inside the office while I maintained a polite, professional distance.  A steady flow of people constantly streamed in and out.  One afternoon while I sat waiting for my turn I happened to look up and saw a familiar face – a local, well known, TV celebrity.  He was ushered in quickly with another gentleman.  My turn next.

The doc was pretty upset. On what I would call a rant.  Why?  Because a chiropractor had held onto this patient and not advised him, after a prolonged period of chiropractic treatment, to seek a more comprehensive medical evaluation.  The patient wasn’t getting better.  In fact, his pain was getting consideraly worse.  Hello!  The chiropractor just kept making adjustments.  Waiting and hoping.  Finally, after too many months had passed, the proverbial bell went off in the patient’s head – Hey, maybe I need to have someone else check this out.  Mazel tov!  An “A” to the patient.  An “F” to the chiropractor. Like me and Tom Brokaw, this man had myeloma – a blood cancer that damages the bones.

Of course, lots of people who go to a chiropractor never need more traditional treatment.  Many get relief and manage their discomfort solely with chiropractic treatments.  Plus, many chiropractors would have referred the patient elsewhere far sooner. And as much as I’m in support of considering complementary/alternative treatments (see last week’s blog – “Healthcare Takes a Village”(, we all need to listen to our body, our pain and discomfort. You’re the only one who knows exactly what you’re feeling.  Pay attention. Nobody lives in your body but you. And for goodness sake, don’t be intimidated by any medical practitioner.  Remember – earlier treatment is generally easier and much less complicated.

In the drug culture of the ’60’s –”turn on, tune in and drop out” – was a familiar phrase.  But we’re in another era now, a new milleneum.  For all of us the more appropriate phrase would be to turn on your awareness, tune into your body and drop into a more conscious approach to acknowledging what you’re feeling.  Denying a problem exists doesn’t make it go away.  Why wait?

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