When a doctor is sick, people often say it’s a good opportunity for the doctor to experience the ‘other side’ and to be able to identify with his/her patients. I would agree.
Honestly, I can’t say I can relate to many patients, because my condition is not so serious; I have not had to worry about a life/death situation. A few of my friends immediately come to mind who are facing such situations/or recently faced them, and I can’t imagine what that must be like. I also think about the parents of children at the Children’s Hospital, who watch their children fight for life and know that there is a big chance their child might not survive. I cannot imagine the feeling.
However, I think I have experienced some of the thoughts and feelings that patients generally go through. See if any of this rings a bell: Impatience. Waiting for two weeks before hearing about test results. Worry. Fear. The “what if” scenarios that undoubtedly cross ones mind. Exposure and vulnerability. Being examined. Lack of control. Some decisions lie with me while some definitely seem to be made by the doctor. Relief. Knowing that results are normal/improving. Disappointment. The tests never seem to end. Discomfort. Side effects of medication. Unpleasant tests. Forgetfulness. Compliance. Trying to remember to take medication everyday. Importance of support from friends & family. Thinking ahead. The future. What do I value in life? What do I still want to accomplish? Realizing once again how precious life is.
I think that more than anything, I have become more thankful. Thankful for access to good healthcare. Thankful for insurance companies. Thankful for friends and family around me. Simply thankful.