The Heroic Patient

imagesSorena wore a black knit scarf around a thick neck, folds between scarf and skin. She came in with reflective smooth skin and frozen brow.  After many botox injections, she increasingly found it difficult to change her expression.  People often accused her of not caring about difficult things they were disclosing, and she realized the issue was, she couldn’t move her forehead.

She had a lot of empathy and was frustrated that people didn’t understand this.

We pulled at this idea for some time, recognizing a tension unplugged for her with each injection, a relief she experienced at visceral level. She just felt like she had to get her injections, driven toward them, like a bee toward the hive.

At some level it takes courage to get through the day.  She sees the effect.  Despite the fact that she should take a break from Botox, she can’t stop and this feels frightening.  She’s freezing her face.  It’s a terrible thing to know she has to stop something she is driven to do. It’s really hard. She’s trying to get through each day.

I told Sorena, “What you do every day to deal with this is brave. It’s harder. You have so much strength. You are doing it. You are getting through.”

I’m considering starting a podcast, “The Heroic Patient.” What do you think?

I want to interview Sorena and others with heroic life journey’s for you to discovery, connect with, increase awareness of, and appreciate.

The idea is to interview a world-community patient who will tell their “story.” It enters through the physician’s office doorway and increases transparency.

Many in our world community do not have a great understanding of what a physician nor a patient do in this exchange. You may think, “Well, everyone is a patient so at some level they do.” But:

  • How many, do you think actually go into a physician’s office?
  • How many variety of physicians does any one patient see in a lifespan?
  • How many get to tell their story?
  • How many of us hear each other’s stories?
  • How many of us understand how a physician solicits the details of a story so someone is “heard?”

If a patient were to learn the ‘behind the scenes,’ thought processes, interview techniques and analysis of the physician, would that be helpful to the patient?  Would the doctor learn from this dynamic interplay, and would the interview process evolve and grow from this? How would this effect stigma of all variety? Who knows?

What do you think? Is there a need for the “Heroic Patient” Podcast? If so, what are your recommendations and opinions?

The idea is that we are designed for connection. It’s friendly, remember? 🙂

Keep on!

Self-care Tip: Get transparent to get connected! Be a friend to yourself.


My daughter came out of her room. “I can’t sleep Mommy. I feel lonely.” Part of me wanted to run the shadows down, throttle them and take revenge. Another part of me, stopped at what I saw in her eyes. It was as if she was saying, “Am I ok?” And I felt happy with the question. I knew there was my sunshine.

Am I ok? Am I the only one who feels this way?

My husband and I went to hear Rob Bell talk about suffering. He had us all write down on cards “I am not alone.” Then he asked us questions about suffering. “If you have loved someone who has died, please stand.” “If you or someone you know has had cancer, please stand.” “Who here is struggling with their finances?” “If you…,” and the questions went on. Pretty soon, there wasn’t anyone in the many hundreds of people attendance not standing. We looked at each other, exposed and awkward. Our crusty’s and defenses barely in place. Then Rob Bell asked us to give our card to someone we didn’t know. He did this over and over until we realized materially, that none of us were alone. I don’t know who’s writing is on my card but it reminds me that someone(s) out there share my suffering and I theirs.

For now, my daughter is small. For now, I hold her card. I knew what to say, and it felt like sunshine.

You are not alone. Many people feel that way all the time and feeling that way is normal. But you can’t trust your feelings. When you feel lonely, remember what you know to be true. You are not alone.

My daughter, looked at me and I saw that I got it right for once! We connected through something like a sliver of magic. I was so glad. She nodded, hugged and kissed and went to bed. It was dark outside but there was light in my heart.

Self Care Tip #19 – Share your card and take one – You are not alone! Be a friend to yourself.