Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here, Have Something Messed Up Happen?

"Hope is an important part of happiness. But there's a dark side to hope," a co-author of the study, Dr. Peter A. Ubel, said in a news release. "We think [the permanent colostomy patients] were happier because they got on with their lives. They realized the cards they were dealt, and recognized that they had no choice but to play with those cards. The other group was waiting for their colostomy to be reversed. They contrasted their current life with the life they hoped to lead, and didn't make the best of their current situation."

There's a lesson here for healthcare professionals, too, the authors wrote. Healthcare professionals want to give their patients hope and may be reluctant to correct false hopes. But patients may be better off facing the truth.

"While hopeful news may be easiest to deliver, it may not at all be in the interests of the recipients because it may interfere with emotional adaptation," the authors wrote.

From: "Sometimes patients shouldn't hold on to hope | Booster Shots | Los Angeles Times."

Whose job is it to 'correct' false hopes?

If someone had 'corrected' my unrealistic (clinically speaking) hope that I'd keep my right leg, if someone had 'corrected' my unrealistic (clinically speaking) hope that someday I'd run again (multiple 5ks and a Sprint Tri later), if someone had 'corrected' my unrealistic (clinically speaking) hope that I'd be able to wear a 1.75 inch heeled shoe, would that mean they were just helping me "play the cards" I'd been dealt?

Whose job is it to 'correct' my emotional adaptations to 'reality?'

If anyone succeeded in doing that, I wouldn't be here, in Silicon Valley, starting a health tech company, with no previous tech experience.

Facing my medical truths was about *not* abandoning hope. In fact, it was facing my medical truths that led me to move to San Francisco and begin to build things that help other people who are patients NOT abandon hope.

People want to know what to do, yes. People want to know what to worry about, yes. People want to know what to expect (good/bad), yes.

But sometimes holding on to hope is the only thing that keeps us holding *on* to our lives, much less "getting on" with them.

The day our healthcare system advocates killing hope is the day we have truly buried a system that operates "in the interests of the recipients."

You know what I hope? I hope I don't live to see that day realized.

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

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