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 12 steps to a medical miracle
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4038 Posts

Posted - May 24 2007 :  08:19:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From Cecil Montgomery on the Mail List

I was cleaning some old files and I found this. It was
posted by Olivija in 1999. I could find nothing better
to help with living with COPD.

If you or someone you love is diagnosed with a life
threatening illness here are the positive steps you
take to insure the best outcome possible. They don't
add up to a guarantee of course.There are no
guarantees in medicine. But, thats actually good news
for people with a serious illness. Maybe you can't be
abolutely certain that the best will happen, but you
can't be certain--no matter what your DR says-- that
the worst will happen.

1. Take control of your illness. You may think you are
helpless, but you are not. Take control of your life
with a combination of information and attitude. Be a
part of every decision about your treatment. Resist
the urge to leave it all in your DRs hands.

2. Insist on options. Forget about second opinions.
Look instead for second options. There are no
absolutes in medicine, no inevitables. There are
multiple solutions to every problem. You just have to
find them. Don't be afraid of choices, embrace them.

3. Find the right DR. Not all DRs are created equal.
When you're seriously ill, it's worth the extra effort
to find the best one for your condition. It can make
the difference between life and death.

4. Build a partnership with your DR. A true
partnership means there are special responsibilities
on both sides. Your part is to be informed about your
illness so you can ask questions--you can never ask to
many. Your DRs part is to answer them all fully and

5. Recognize that all medical decisions are trade
offs. Again, there are no right answers. Every
decision regarding medical treatments involves
weighing costs against benefits. To strike the right
balance for you (everybody's balance is different) get
all the information you can, then carefully look
inside yourself and decide what really matters.

6. Sustain a claim to life. A good attitude--call it
optimism or "fighting spirit" or whatever-- isn't
enough, no matter how positive. You have to do
something. A will to live has to be accompanied by a
committment to living. Join a support group, make
plans, set goals, "renew your membership in life."

7. Find an advocate(or be your own). In a managed care
environment getting the best care can be a struggle.
You can end up fighting your HMO as well as your
illness. If you haven't got enough fight to go around,
enlist an advocate to do the fighting for you.

8. Subdue the enemy within. Sooner or later you'll
hear a voice question, "why me?" Learn to recognize
self pity and resist it. Questions that never bother
you, don't let this one. Not now, Another feeling to
resist; guilt. Yes loved ones are going through hell
but it is not your fault.

9. Build a support network. You absolutely cannot get
through this alone. You have to depend on people.
Family, friends, caregivers support groups, strangers,
it doesn't matter, as long as it's somebody. But don't
expect more more of people than is reasonable. Don't
expect family and friends to change because you are
sick. Don't expect yourself to change.

10. Don't let the disease--or the treatment-- change
who you are. Don't let the "I'm still here!" syndrome
get the better of you. Denial and surrender are bad,
but survival at any cost is also dangerous, just in a
different way. If the disease, or the treatment,
changes who you are then you have lost the battle any

11. Know when to draw the line, There is a line beyond
which the price of survival is is just to high. A line
between what is worth fighting for and what is not.
Thresholds of pain vary, as well as thresholds of fear
and uncertainty. Doctors often draw this line, draw it
for yourself.

12. Never say never. Everybody reacts differently.
Everybody reacts to drugs and treatment differently.
Every Doctor has had patients who defied all the
nedical text books and prognosis. They've all been
"hopeless" cases turned around. For all the
advancements in medical knowledge, the human body
remains wondrous and strange, and full of surprises.
There is not one word I could add to this message. I
would add this, read it often till it is it is a part
of how you feel. "Because how you feel is how you


Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc.
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87 Posts

Posted - Aug 03 2007 :  05:39:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have just seen this and thank you so much for posting it. I am going to print it out as a reminder to myself...Joyce
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11 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2008 :  01:16:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much for sharing this,it is so true keeping everything in perspective.
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42 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2008 :  08:01:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i keep reading this over...always!
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4 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2013 :  6:00:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for this it truly does make a difference
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23 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  9:29:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just read this tonight. It was great. I will keep going back and reading it. It made a lot of sense to me right now. I have been in helpless mode lately and that made me realize I need to get in survival mode.

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Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Sep 07 2014 :  02:49:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Dave.
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