Stories from the Stethoscope: November 2021

Read the November 2021 edition of Dr. Powell’s monthly column: Stories from the Stethoscope.

I love stories. I find that they help me organize all my thoughts and create an opportunity for deeper learning and appreciation. One day a patient and I were discussing how well he is doing with his weight loss. He said, “I am going downhill.” I was surprised and tried to correct him and tell him he was doing great. He said “I know. I am cruising downhill on my bike.” As an avid bike rider, he shared that when life gets difficult, he thinks about riding uphill and changing gears. When life is going well, and he has success he pictures himself coasting downhill feeling the wind. I was fascinated by this analogy and have thought about how it applies to my own life as well. We are born with a bike and placed on a course we never choose. The only thing we can choose is how we approach the ride. Many of us have felt that even today we are still riding uphill and need more air in our tires. I would agree. I do not know when the hill will level off, but I am still optimistic that I will be able to ride hands-free down the hill soon. At least for a short while. What can I control? I can control how often I look at the fall foliage and see the beautiful colors on the trees and gaze at the cabbage plants.  I can ride with my coworkers, family, and friends whenever the opportunity arises. We can fully appreciate the moments of today. For many of us, Thanksgiving is one of our favorite times of the year. Let’s capitalize on this opportunity. I say get off your bike site on the side of the path with those you love and lay in the leaves. The trail will still be there. The hills will still be as big. But perhaps we can ride it together with a bigger smile.

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