February 20, 2009

Can Negativity Squash Hope?

I was reading an article by David Servan-Schreiber about hope and healing that got me thinking. Is positive belief and hope enough? Can negativity squash hope?

The article started out telling a story of an HIV positive man who escaped AIDS much longer than expected. When asked of his treatment protocol he said he took natural supplements, ate right, and exercised. A doctor told him he had many patients following that regimen die. Then, sure as sunset, the man died. His hope and determination were squashed by some neggie nelly nay sayer, a doctor no less. At the end of the article Schreiber said patients should help themselves and instill hope in their bodies. This will do more than medicine alone.

Many years ago I had an experience with a negative person myself. My husband had bladder cancer. He went in for surgery and came out beautifully. His doctor was very optimistic about his recovery and survival.

My husband's ex-wife was a floor nurse at the hospital. She butted her head in his care when she found out he was in recovery, not her unit or specialty. I found her checking his IV and administering medication to him. My husband asked me to have her removed. After a heated discussion with the staff she was barred from initiating any care to him.

When he was moved to a private room she showed up for a visit. She walked in and told me, "we need to talk." I walked into the hall with her. She said a lot about nothing and then spouted out, loudly, "you know, he's going to die!"

I'll never forget that moment. I felt my chest get heavy and my heart sink into my stomach. I told her to leave. Thankfully she didn't come back. However, she planted the negative seed.

My husband heard her words. We did not discuss the conversation except he told me to ignore her. But I guess her statement was one he could not ignore himself. Less than a year later he was gone.

Growing up my parents taught me to think positively. They told me: "Think can do and keep not out of your life." I get it now, but then I thought they were bonkers.

Positive thinking is the mainstream for success, health, and happiness. Every day I see something that reminds me of the power of positivity.

Hope and positivity go hand in hand. When confronted with something, or someone, negative we should turn tail and make it positive. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No.
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  1. Oh my, Muse, what a powerful post. And my heart goes out to you for your loss (and I shudder to think of the ex-wife still being a nurse).

    This post encourages us all to be aware of sneaky negativity and the effects of positivity.

    For example, did you know that laughing reduces blood pressure?!

  2. Hello Conda!

    To this day that woman is still a nurse. Most nurses I have encountered are encouraging and optimistic. I hope she is not like this with her patients. I really think she just had it out for me and hated the fact her ex married a younger woman.

    Laughter is really the best medicine. It also takes less muscles to smile than to frown.

    Take care!

  3. Muse:

    Yes, I absolutely agree that attitude can affect our lives. When I was young I read The Power of Positive Thinking, and it sank into my brain. I absolutely believe in it.

    When I was in school one of my teachers told us about a man who had come upon a car accident. Seeing one of the victims lying along side the road with his back bleeding heavily from severe lacerations, the man said,"My gosh, your back looks like raw hamburger!" The teacher warned us never to say negative things like that.

    In another incidence, in the sixties I had a neighbor who was a surgical room nurse. She said that they had discovered that the patients, even though they are out, they can still hear and are affected by what the doctors say. One time a doctor said, "Close this guy up, he's already dead!" The man recalled the doctor's words and he related that to the nurse.

    So, I am with you 100% on this one - no matter what - it's not over until the fat lady sings - so keep on truckin'.

    By the way, I left a response to your comment on my post Believe It Or Not. Please check it out.

    Happy trails.

  4. Hi! I agree with Conda, this is truly a powerful post. The last thing anyone wants to hear from a non-doctor is that you're going to die.

    When I had my melanoma removed sometime ago, no one ever mentioned the fact that it could take my life.

    Everyone was positive, doctors, nurses and family alike. To dwell in the negative only takes its toll and a place I do not want to go to.

    Take Care,

  5. Great Story! My wife is a nurse and she's a big believer in staying positive around patients.

  6. Hey Swu! I have The Power of Positive Thinking sitting right in front of me on my bookshelf! Great read! In fact I have several different motivational books sitting there. I tend to re-explore them when I feel out of sorts.

    I've had a few surgeries in my life. You know, a couple surgeons had soothing music piped in for their patients. My OB-GYN has music and is a big comedian so he tells jokes through the whole procedure.

    Comparing these surgical incidents to others, I have to say my recovery time was much shorter.

    See ya!

  7. Hello Peter!

    I don't even think I want to hear those words from a doctor!

    This nurse is nothing like you, nothing. After my husband passed she manipulated things to the point I had to excuse myself from the family. Thankfully, my husband's friends saw what was happening and were a great source of support to me.

    You know, she even sent people to my work to agitate me. I won't get into specifics but it was horrid.

    I'm so glad that woman is out of my life now.

    I believe people in the medical profession should be encouraging, optimistic, and supportive. From your posts I can tell you have had good care through your melanoma.

    Take care!

  8. Hey J.L!

    Your wife is right! Positivity can do wonders.

    Take care!


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