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Mind Power

March 25, 2022 2 min read

I have a little story to tell, it's not my story but it is A story.  I started my career in spine  in October of 2009 after working 3 years in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care. It wasn't long after I started in my new specialty that this young guy (we'll call him Doug), maybe in his mid to late thirties was in the office for an appointment. He was not new to the practice however he was new to me. He was a post surgical patient who had lumbar surgery due to a work related injury a couple years prior. 

We began the formalities of the visit, "Hi, I'm Dustin, what brings you in to see me today?" It's then that the story begins. Doug begins to tell me how difficult it had been for him since his injury and subsequent surgery. How he was angry and depressed all the time, how his quality of life was suffering. He told me how his wife came to him one day and said, "Doug, you're a young guy, are you going to live like this the rest of your life?" He told me  after this statement from his wife that "a light bulb went on in my head" and he decided right then that NO, he was not going to live like this the rest of his life. He discussed how first he let go of the anger and resentment he was harboring toward his prior work place and against his doctors. He began to get out of the house and be more active, he began going out and seeing his friends again. Slowly he began to notice that his pain was getting better, so much better. Doug said that his pain was so much better that he was in the office that day to get a note to return to work, he was starting Monday. 

I basically sat there taking in this story somewhat in disbelief, it was foreign compared to the conversations I was accustomed to. It occurred to me that the main catalyst for Doug's change in condition was his mind. He changed his mindset, how he perceived his condition and that changed his whole life. He went from being totally disabled with chronic severe pain and poor quality of life to a guy who was returning to work and thriving in life. I tell this story to patients periodically in hopes that they may become the next Doug. The mind is very powerful and may be the one medicine to procure a profound impact on recovery. 

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