Quote of the Week

Great quote here today for you. This is just so true! Good advice. I have been saying a similar sort of thing to patients for years.

Many functional medicine patients arrive with their stamina for the process already used up. They’ve seen a dozen doctors. They’ve been feeling bad for a long time. They’re impatient. Their confidence level is low. They’re really hoping for some early indication that the plan you’re engaging together is going to work.

In many cases, their feeling of urgent need can start to intrude into the clinician-patient interaction. In particular, the patient will often feel that they need to impress upon the clinician how bad they feel, how urgently they need to see improvement, and how anxious they are about the process. They express this urgency in the way they talk, in the way they emote, and in how they hold themselves physically. All these facets of their expression of the experience of their illness can be sources of enormous stress. This is what I often tell them.

I’m going to hold the urgency for both of us, so you can relax. Your job is to be patient. It’s taken you a long time to get into this situation. There are a lot of components to the biology of what’s going on in your case. We need to manage the process in stages, so that the process can feel manageable to you and especially so that we can increase the likelihood of success.

But being patient is your job. I don’t for a moment want you to think I’m going to be patient. I’m going to hold the urgency for both of us. You just settle in and do great work on your side of the collaboration. That will allow you to be less anxious. You don’t need to worry that I don’t get it. I get that you feel bad. I get that it’s been a long time. I get that you feel urgent about wanting to see improvement. That all makes complete sense to me and I’m on board for doing that work with you. So, while you’re doing your work at a steady pace, I’ll be thinking, “Peggy has to get better as fast as possible. How can I help her move the process forward faster?”

In my experience, when I let the patient know that I’m acknowledging their feeling of urgency, acknowledging that they feel bad and are hoping for a good outcome soon, they don’t feel like they have to hold it all themselves. And, perhaps most importantly, they don’t have to emote it at me, as a way to try to get me moving. When I make it clear that I’m fully onboard and holding the urgency for both of us, they calm down. When they calm down, their stress chemistry is reduced. This reduces their inflammation and other stress-related issues. The tide starts to turn before you’ve even done any treatment, just from this step. It can still be a long road, but you’ve started the process well.

Dr Yanuck

2 Replies to “Quote of the Week”

    1. Yes, I should have it written down on a laminated sheet and give it to patients lol! I saw another one yesterday where you had to agree before applying for a consultation that you may need to work for 1-3 years (this was on MCAS), are you OK with that? Managing expectations, if a little scary – and expensive!!

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