When Health Scares: What You Can & Cannot Change
Do health issues scare you? I get troubled when things go wrong with my body. Sorry, wrong term! Make that hyper-anxious. I handle most issues far better than I deal with health.
Now that you know this, you can imagine how worried I must have been when I developed a hearing issue – a constant noise in my left ear – that disturbed me 24/7.
I can’t pinpoint when the symptoms first surfaced, but I began to notice it this year at the end of June. Initially, I felt it might go after some time, but when it didn’t, I consulted an ENT who prescribed me medicines for a week. He did his best to calm me when he saw how stressed I was.
A week later, after I reported no change, he asked me to undergo some tests. One test led to another before a report was generated, which I took to the ENT to interpret and advise. The doctor looked at it before saying, “You were exposed to a loud sound that may have caused this. Let’s hope this goes away.”
He added a medicine to the earlier prescription and asked me to call in a week. I reported no change a week later. For the next two months, the same pattern followed. I would call him once a week, he would ask me to continue the medicines, change one or two, and contact him next week. After the first month, I stopped calling him and would instead text him to report no change. He would text back, asking me to continue the medicines or suggest a change. This pattern continued for a few weeks until he called me again to visit him.
The Shift in Perspective
In the interim, something had changed. The noise in my ear remained an irritant, as it used to be. But my response to it changed. I stopped paying attention to it. I would notice it a few times a day, but I was no longer anxious. I would move on to other thoughts, ignoring this issue.
This was a significant change. My response to the ailment made me handle the issue better. I began to accept it as part of the new order. When I visited the ENT after a gap of eight weeks, I no longer showed signs of anxiety, unlike the previous occasion when I was a nervous wreck. I approached him with an open mind. Whatever the outcome, I was prepared to deal with it.
He examined my ear again, asked a few questions, and prescribed a new set of medicines for three weeks, with instructions to call me in a week and let him know how I was doing. In three days, it would be three weeks since he changed my medicines—and nearly three months since I first felt the symptoms. My ailment has remained precisely the same. Just that I have stopped worrying about it.
Finding Strength in Acceptance
During my health scare, I learned a valuable lesson about the power of perspective and acceptance. While health issues can be frightening, our response to them can make much difference.
As I shifted my mindset from anxiety to acceptance, I found the strength to navigate this challenge gracefully.
If health issues scare you, remember that adjusting your attitude can be your most significant source of resilience. Act on what you can change, and stop worrying about what you can’t.
The difference will surprise you.