A definition of “HOPE”: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
We all have lots of “HOPES” for ourselves and the important people in our lives. I believe that most of these “hopes” revolve around health, success and happiness.
Concerning current events involving the pandemic, we all hope for a speedy recovery to normalcy, we all hope that as few people contract the virus as possible, we all hope that those that do get infected recover to complete health, we all hope that people that have lost jobs get them back soon, we all hope that there will be a vaccine/treatment soon, etc etc etc.
It is a very bad situation when our hopes are taken away from us. There is not much ‘good news” emanating from the myriad of news sources online as well as on cable news. It is difficult to maintain hope when everything we hear is basically telling us that there is little-no chance that the things we are hoping for will, in fact, occur.
When all hope is lost, we tend to let other aspects of our lives fall apart. For example, if we truly believed that we would be housebound for our entire lives, we will all eventually suffer a horrible fate from becoming infected, we would never be able to return our jobs again, we would never have a roll of toilet paper again (come on, that was a funny line in this otherwise, up until now, pretty bleak post), etc, pretty much all of us would consider death being perhaps a better alternative to living. Focusing on weight control, would any of us really care what is happening on our bathroom scale?
Now, let’s turn this moribund post into something positive. Here goes: In my almost 40 years of practicing medicine, I have learned that the very best approach is to always be honest, yet offer whatever positive outlook that can be proffered up. When a person has to be told about a Stage 4 cancer that will have zero chance of cure, the small positive/hope can perhaps be reassurance that comfort and dignity always be the case.
My crystal ball is not any better than anyone else’s, but here goes: We WILL get past this pandemic and for the most part, normalcy will return. There may be some stores that will not reopen in malls, we all may know lots more about talking with your doctor via telemedicine, we may know of people that did not make it through the pandemic, but for the overwhelming majority, our “normal” lives will return. I truly believe that our hopes will turn into reality.
So, if that is the case, try to focus on small things that may not seem important now, such as controlling your weight. It is easy to fall into the trap of stress eating and think: “who gives a crap?” when the other issues in our lives have been so upended. However, when normalcy returns, you want to be closer to the “not high risk” profile as opposed to deeply in the “high risk” category.
Here is one of my hopes: That all of you, my wonderful patients, are coping well, feeling well and will come out the other side of this healthier and ultimately happier.