PT360 - August 2017

Getting you back to the life you want to live.


A ugust 2017

In Touch

Our July camping trip was full of adventure at Olympic National Park. We hit the beach, lakes, and waterfalls, all of it spectacular. We took my trusty inflatable paddleboard out on a lake, where my copilot directed us to a beach half a mile from our takeoff. Aye aye! Fifteen minutes later, I wished I had brought shoes for a land return. The wind had picked up to such an extent that there were 1- to 2-foot swells on the lake on the way back. My daughter likened the swells to a ride at Disneyland. I kept positioned perpendicular to the swells when the wind was high, then paddled furiously toward shore in the moments when it died down. Our short paddle that day ended up being a ‘3-hour tour’ against a steep headwind. In that time, my daughter stayed calm, opted to lay down and nap on the board, and I focused on good body mechanics and staying steady, both in balance and nerves. When my very worried husband spotted us getting close, he helped us offload at a dock. He was worried sick that we had been in danger. My daughter and I were puzzled. I knew I could do it, and so did she. I was just not so excited to have to keep paddling, and was enthused at the prospect of being closer to a fire and a glass of wine. We arrived at our last camp ahead of my husband. This campground was packed like sardines, and I had a trailer back in, which I’d only done once. My stomach sank. I wondered aloud where my husband was to help park, and my daughter asked me, “Do you believe in yourself?” I paused. “Well, yes, I do, but I’m kind of nervous about this.” She responded “Well, I believe in you. You got this, Mama.” So I did. I managed to avoid all obstacles, and felt proud of my small accomplishment. Despite (even more!) challenges, we had a great time, and made more great memories. The best one, though, was knowing my daughter had utter faith in me, in stormy conditions and on bad days and when I was not so sure of myself. I wish the same for you. Even when you don’t have F rom T he D esk O f Shelly Coffman

T he D octor ' s O rders Are You a 'Difficult' Patient?

What happens if you are labeled a “difficult” patient on your medical file? It depends on who you ask. According to a 1996 TV episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld,” you might get calls in the middle of the night and be denied service by every doctor in town. Poor Elaine. Real life isn’t that dramatic, but people still harbor fears about speaking up or questioning their physician because they dread the difficult label. What if your doctor alters his care approach? What if he withholds certain information because he fears being antagonized? Besides, no one wants to walk into a doctor’s office and fear that their presence is dreaded. No one likes to feel like they are high maintenance. One study done by Health Affairs found that most people want to participate in “shared decision-making” with their physicians, but they feel concerned about being labeled as difficult, because it could lead to problems down the road. The crazy thing is, 40 percent of the subjects had incomes of over $100,000. If they felt concerned, there’s a good chance people of all income levels feel the same way. If you talk to some physicians, they will tell you that being a curious and investigative patient is a good thing, even if it makes you just a little difficult. But there is a balance in all things. Talk to a doctor outside the office, and they will be happy to give you examples of how not to treat the person providing you with physical care.

your own short cheerleader, be that person for yourself. It’s pretty magic.

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- Shelly Coffman


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