Wednesday, 6 March 2019

DOCTOR, STOP TAPPING YOUR FOOT


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About a year before Mom died, I wrote this from her hospital room:

Mom was hospitalised just prior to Christmas for respiratory distress. A young, bespectacled respirologist strode into the room. He smiled at Mom and began to make notes on his clipboard.  "Have you ever had trouble breathing before?" he asked.  "Once when I was about twelve, I was at camp..." Mom began.  My eye was drawn to the doctor's foot. His polished loafer began to tap rapidly, but his smile remained fixed.

I thought, "he is trying to have a business conversation here. But Mom thinks this is PERSONAL!"  I jumped in and re-directed Mom to her more recent health history.

Very recently, I observed similar behaviour from a physician who was treating our son in hospital. The doctor was professional, knowledgeable and pleasant. But his foot tapped excessively during our conversation, to the point that his knee was shaking.  This doctor appeared to be listening and he answered all our (very good) questions. But it was hard for me to focus on his words because I was so distracted by his foot and leg.

Here’s what that tapping foot meant to me: “This doctor is worried about his next patient or maybe he’s late for a meeting.” “I need to hurry up and ask my questions. What were my questions again?” “I’m sorry I’m taking up so much time.”

I kept thinking about that tapping foot and so I googled the body language of feet. This is what I found:

"The secret language of feet can reveal a great deal about our personality, what we think of the person we're talking to and even our emotional and psychological state, they are a fascinating channel of nonverbal communication."
"Compiling this research has been a revelation. The reason our feet may be giving us away is that they are part of the body from which we have the least internal feedback."
"The weird thing about feet is that most people know what they are doing with their facial expression, they may or may not know what they are doing with their hands but unless we specifically think about it, we know nothing about what we are doing with our feet."

And from the pen of Dr. Susan KraussWhitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, writing for Psychology Today:

"Shaking your legs communicates anxiety, and when you shake those legs you inevitably shake those feet.  However, your feet can get you into trouble with your body language all on their own. Tapping your toes is one way to show that you’re in a hurry and anxious to get moving.  You may want to tap your toes if you’re trying to get someone’s attention and don’t want to say something rude. It’s a little way of signaling that you’re feeling time pressured without yelling or engaging in sarcastic eye-rolling. However, you do so at a risk. Either you’ll be ignored or still perceived as rude. Better to handle your feelings of annoyance over being made to wait by politely voicing your concerns."


So here’s my prescription for doctors: For better outcomes, stop tapping your feet when in conversation with your patient and his or her family.

 




4 comments:

Unknown said...

I would be ungrateful if I decided not to share our success experience with ZOMO, I was a born caregiver, so it’s hard for me to look at my own needs as separate from my Dad’s needs. Most patients just need someone to hug them and tell them that they are not worthless, the treatment I tried not only worked but I believe cured him.

He was diagnosed in 2011. I took Dad to the GP after noticing that he had become increasingly forgetful and vague. The clear sign that something was wrong came when he drove his car to the local shops (a five minute drive), bought his shopping, then walked back home, forgetting the car was parked outside the shop. The next day he rang me to say the car had been stolen. He had no recollection of leaving it behind. After a week he began to repeat himself and ask the same questions. He would struggle to remember conversations that had only occurred five minutes earlier.

His situation was very complicated. I understand how one feel as a daughter and once caregiver, memory loss is so much more complicated. Many have been conditioned to think that traditional medicine has not found a cure for a disease. ZOMO have challenged this train of my thought. When he was ill, it was a tragedy, I endured, I was broken, I knew hardship, I was lost. But here I stand and I can tell you unequivocally that my Dad is cured. It is those of us who have been broken that understand the meaning of memory loss. As I look at the past and start writing this, tears of joy overwhelm me. I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better. It was one of my most difficult jobs and one that I poured my heart and soul into daily. Taking into account how well my Dad progressed in that space of time and now. There is no more memory loss symptoms for more than 6months now. The thing is, I get peace of mind when Dad is well taken care of: when he’s happy, I’m happy. Right now, it’s all about him…I always enter into his world so we can manage life together. We wake up every morning with a smile and we look forward to what the new day will bring. Reach out to him at [email protected]

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Unknown said...

After months of my Dad's Alzheimer’s free, I think I owe the world a duty to share this testimony. It could help someone out there who needs to be free from Alzheimer’s like my Dad.

It started as a minor difficulty following story-lines. I was scared when he started having Poor sleep and noticed confusion with time or place. First it was at the tonic phase till it became more complicated that I had to see our family doctor. That was when he was 63 years old. I had questions without answers. My friends who never understood what I was going through abandoned me because they were too embarrassed to associate with him. The Confusion with time or places became frequent that was causing him severe discomfort everyday. It got more complicated that I had to make effort so it will not lead to heart disease according to research. I went in search for a cure because I was fed up of treatments and drugs. A lot of folks told me there was no cure to Alzheimer’s; that the best I could get was treatment to manage it, but I just refused to believe them. Thankfully, I read about Herbal medication for Alzheimer’s cure. I discussed with my doctor, he permitted me to try if it will work because Western Medication had dealt with him badly. When we started using Herbal Medication the confused about things which happens a few hours ago or yesterday was no longer frequent! Within 2months, I noticed tremendous changes he never had for 2 months of using English Medicine. For 9 months and counting, he have never had confusion about things which happens a few hours ago or yesterday not even for a second. I have been reaching out to people with Alzheimer’s telling them our story how they can get cured through Herbal medication that worked for my Dad. curetoalzheimer.blogspot.com You may contact the doctor via [email protected]

Unknown said...

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