How To Make Sure Your Health Doesn’t Collapse Under Unwanted Pressure!

I’ve seen people lose their minds because they are told that they’ve “taken a turn for the worse”. You know this isn’t true, or you wouldn’t have gotten in a situation like this. When people start to get “fear-based”, it’s the wrong reaction to get. What you should do is just chill.

I have learned the hard way that it’s almost impossible to control your health when you’re under pressure — which is probably why I have so many friends over who seem to be in the middle of something, even though none of them look all that bad. When people take out their fears and anxieties and start pressuring their patients in a manner that the patient simply can’t control, they have made a big mistake. When you take a chance with your patient with something you never thought about doing, but knew that the patient was in need of, you should do it with the best intentions in mind.

The important thing isn’t to do it right away. The important thing is to be prepared. A patient will almost definitely want to keep going when they’re under stress. They will almost certainly want help to get a grip on what’s going on. That means you need to be aware that they’re under pressure, and you need to know what to do in those circumstances. That’s easy. It’s the second thing that takes some thought to do, and it’s the hardest, but it’s also the most important. You have to ask yourself: What am I going to need? Does a doctor need to be able to do a procedure at this hour? Are the lights going to be on? Do I have to walk five or ten minutes back to the office, get out a set of keys that I can get if I break one, and the key for the car (it’ll be on a key chain, remember…). What am I going to need to talk to the patient about, and what am I going to need to help the patient with? How many sets of keys will I need and when will I need them and what do they do?  When you think about what you’re going to need, it should be easy to say “no” to things you already have on hand that can do a job. That’s how I ended up with a set of extra keys that was just so we’d have at least one set on hand in case we were to break a leg, or some sort of other extremity. You probably can’t do all that without a doctor, of course, which is why I’m calling you out on your stupidity here. You need to find a good set of tools.

Here’s a great thing you can do in this situation: You don’t need to use a pain stick. You could use a towel, or you could use your own mouth. 

This is a great time to remind you that you were trained as a physician, in fact you were taught all the time to use the word “wilfully” and to never give “ins” advice. That probably isn’t going to change, and it’s always more effective to give the patient the best advice possible — and to get the patient to agree because you’re already feeling pretty confident that you were the one who said you knew. (And, you should always make sure to explain that a lot of pain experts do give recommendations to patients, including this one.)

I was taught to give pain patients what’s called “ins” advice, which means “don’t feel this for awhile”. (It also means “don’t call me, I’m going to call an ambulance to fix something”, which is the only other advice I give any patients, by the way.) If they’re in the beginning stages of pain, I give them that advice. If they’ve had an operation, I tell them “that surgery should do the job.” If they need a lot of rest and pain relief (for example, you’ll be dealing with long-term low back pain), then my advice will be “don’t be afraid to come in tomorrow for another appointment.”