It’s not Ok!

When I was pregnant, I noticed that during regular check-ups when a midwife or a nurse was asking different questions, she would always listen to my answers with the exact same polite expression of her face, nodding considerately and taking notes: “Ok… m-m-m-Okay!” as if she wouldn’t even care what exactly I was saying. Almost all the nurses I was seeing had this same expression. Non-judgmental. Free of any sign of disapproval. Neutrally welcoming.

I started thinking their barely perceptible polite smile would still be the same whatever i say. I’m wondering, if someone would tell them she’s smoking while being pregnant, would they still nod considerately with a gentle smile: “Okay… Just so you know, research has shown that smoking pregnant women have bigger risk… …” Of course it’s my guess, and I don’t want to blame anyone for something that don’t know. But it’s a fact that it’s part of the job of medical personnel to be non-judgmental. They never know who are they going to care for tomorrow: drug addicts, alcoholics or prostitutes… No judging. They just give us treatment options, no judging.

But sometimes it’s good to express one’s opinion on something. To say that something is not ok. To differentiate between good and bad things and to encourage the first while try to detract from the second. Not just provide evidence why something has bad consequences and leave it to the person to make his own choices, but express one’s opinion on different options. I encountered that a lot in doctors’ offices in the US. Yes, everyone should make their decisions and nobody should make them for you. But at the same time I feel that doctors should take a more proactive role in helping patients with decisions and even make sure they understand what is the wrong thing to do. Or course, this should only be driven by patient’s well being, health wise and financially.

However healthcare is business in the US and doctors are financially interested. A doctor acts like your personal adviser who helps to make the right decision. But you are the one who makes that decision. The first thing he asks you when you step into his office is “How can I help you?” Haha! As if I could probably say: “Let’s just talk about something!” I was used to think that doctors have no other job than to cure your health problem. Not give you painkillers that won’t cure you, but make your problem invisible for some time. I thought their job is to eliminate the cause, not hide its symptoms.

When I came to dentists in the US, they always gave me choices: from “doing nothing” to “doing everything” which wold imply making my teeth ideal health wise and aesthetically by investing tens of thousands of dollars. I bet that’s not most people want. They, me included, are searching for the fine line between “nothing” and “everything”. But firstly, they often aren’t knowledgeable enough to define what’s more urgent, that’s why they need expert guidance. Secondly, they are’t billionaires neither, and can’t go for the most lucrative option available. Unless they want to burden themselves with credit obligations for years )) And the guidance is often lacking.

Certain things shouldn’t be ok. For example, health problems shouldn’t be left untreated. And doctors should be clear about that. I’m not saying the society should start blaming people that differ from others, but I think that we would all benefit from setting some sort of emotional norms that would “guide” people towards more healthy choices.

Questions

People that know me can acknowledge that I love questions. Have you ever had questions about something that at first seemed very logic and unveiling some kind of ugly truth about life, but then after discussing them with your close friends they don’t seem so black and white any more? Right? 🙂

Happens to me all the time!

Here are some of my recent questions:

  • Where do people in today’s world obsessed with productivity, self-awareness and personal growth find time for television series? All my friends are watching them!
  • Am I right that people who work in social entrepreneurship, nonprofits and other companies with inspirational social missions are more enthusiastic and open about their work on social media and in general share much more about their love for what they do at work than people who work for “regular” businesses?
  • Why there is no news-focused radio stations in the US that would broadcast the most important national and international news all the time? NPR is not the one – they only have news shows at certain time. And the rest of the time is taken by talk shows with authors of books about anything you could imagine from different species of bees to rare cases of health problems of minorities, but not the most important news. Is it because it’s not profitable? Or Americans don’t care what’s going on in their country and in the world?

When I think more about each of them, I seem to understand why. But I still like that exciting “wait, but why?” feeling of discovering something astonishing   😉

About surpises… and what happens next

Today’s post was supposed to be about inspiration, but one small but unpleasant episode almost ruined my positive attitude. I was running errands and when I was coming back from the library where I was working, I noticed a long deep scratch and dent on a side of my car that extended almost from the front wheel and reached the trunk.

“No way I could do it myself!! – I thought, – At least I would hear some creepy scrape when trying to squeeze into some narrow spot!”

Ok, whoever that was, this person left. This is how it usually is: you live your life, and then – click – all of a sudden something happens and you see few hundred dollars flying away in front of your nose. I won’t post the picture of the scratch – I don’t want to be pissed off again the next time I open this blog ))

I drove Alenka home from preschool and when I was getting our of the car, I felt so miserable that I completely forgot that my eyeglasses were on my lap. They fell down onto the concrete bouncing like a plastic toy. I almost saw another few hundred bucks flying away. But yay! They didn’t break!! Thank you!

I noticed that this is not the first time when after one bad luck I tend to almost intentionally put myself in another bad luck situation right away. This is a wrong thing to do! I remember one interesting story. Two years ago right before Christmas I was working on my laptop and drinking tea (as I always do). One awkward move – and half of my enormous cup of tea spilled on the keyboard, warm tea in a slow motion gurgled and dissapeared between keys. Few hundred dollars, as usually, slowly took off in front of my eyes and started their farewell dance in the air. Suddenly Vova interrupted the performance by shouting: “Turn it off and don’t close the lid! Let it dry and then try to turn it on!”

The laptop survived!!!! Not only it survived, but it is still working just fine (except touchpad, huh)! This was truly my best Christmas present ever!

So… the lesson here is: Don’t get desperately upset right away after something happens! Take a deep breath… another one… one more… Chances are it’s not that bad after all… 😉 Or… it could be worse!