It all begins with friction – the resistance that is created when two objects meet. That friction creates a spark, and if you feed that spark with oxygen you get fire. In the right environment, a spark can change the world. History has it that Ben Franklin discovered electricity by extracting sparks from a cloud during a storm. A spark is a little piece of energy, just waiting to do its job.
IN ORDER TO MAKE BIG CHANGES, SPARKS NEED TO BECOME FLAMES.
Your relationship with your body, your health and your doctors all begins with a spark. Let’s take a joint replacement as a common example. The bones in your joint begin to rub against each other, causing friction. That friction causes more friction between the life you want and the life you are living because of this painful joint. Now you have a spark – a tiny piece of motivation to make a change. How do you feed your spark? You go to the doctor, most likely. And you can have surgery to stop the bones from rubbing together. But the best results take more than that. In order for this spark to set your life on fire, you need to provide it with oxygen as well. It is not enough to expect the doctor to do it. You need to prepare yourself physically, emotionally, practically and socially to ensure that you get the best possible results. Because a spark is a tiny thing it cools off more quickly than big things. Sparks need to be fed. If you simply go to the doctor and have surgery, you will probably feel better. The spark will cool. However, what if you use this opportunity to feed it by improving your relationships, your awareness of your physical and mental health, and how you move through this world energetically? You can light up your world.
WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING MAJOR HEALTH CHANGES, YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR NEED TO WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM.
Studies show that three years after diagnosis, those who’ve had a knee replacement have an 11% lower risk of heart failure. After seven years their risk of dying for any reason is 50% lower. I’d bet this is not because a doctor put a piece of metal and plastic in a patient’s knee. It’s because the patient has changed her life. She’s more active. She’s happier, with more motivation and confidence. She’s on fire.
Here’s an example from my life. I started college wanting to be a journalist. However, I was 100 pounds overweight at the time, and since I didn’t see many journalists who looked like me I abandoned that dream. Instead, I majored in psychology, though I quickly realized I wanted to communicate with more than one person at a time. Law, and specifically trying cases as a trial attorney, seemed the perfect fit. Everyone involved in every lawsuit has tons of psychological reasons for being there, and exploring those satisfied the psychology major. The opportunity to present a case to a jury fulfilled the journalism major. There was friction (journalism or psychology) and a spark (the law may be the answer). So off I went to law school. It was while a student at Villanova Law that I found the oxygen that set my career on fire. I began working at a medical malpractice defense firm. Working with doctors allowed me to see their vulnerabilities. Doctors are not supposed to be vulnerable. Their culture does not allow it. But when they’ve been sued, whether they’ve made a mistake or not, they’re at their most vulnerable and their most human. When they were in the right, they needed an advocate. When they were in the wrong, they needed a counselor. I began to see how a career helping these doctors could be fulfilling. And the spark grew
Then I had the opportunity to watch a hip replacement and a knee replacement surgery. Watching surgery on TV is nothing like the experience of being in the room. There are sounds – saws cutting, hammers clanging. There are smells – and they are not all good. There are also sensations – the temperature in the room changes depending on what is going on during the surgery. There is heat from the cautery used in the surgery. And yes, there are sparks. With that, my spark became a flame
I SAW THAT DOCTORS ARE HUMAN BEINGS, DOING THEIR BEST IN CIRCUMSTANCES OFTEN BEYOND THEIR CONTROL.
I wanted to work with these doctors who had jobs where one mistake could change, or end, a life. For the next 20 years, my flame burned bright. I have received numerous awards for my legal work. By the time I was 30 I was a partner at my firm. Soon I began to receive invitations to travel the world and speak to doctors about how to avoid lawsuits. With that, the flame grew. I’d seen the many terrible ways that negligence can injure patients, and doctors. I learned that lawsuits themselves are toxic for all of the parties. In fact, a study on those impacted by the Exon Valdez Oil Spill showed that being a litigant in the civil trial resulted in a shift in the source of stress from the spill itself to the lengthy adversarial litigation. My flame now had a new source of oxygen – the drive to improve the healthcare relationship for all involved.
PATIENTS NEED DOCTORS TO BE PARTNERS, NOT PARENTS. PATIENTS HAVE THE SPARK, BUT THEY CRAVE SOURCES OF OXYGEN.
Addressing any health condition takes a team. Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, counselors, techs – they all have their role. But the most important player is the patient. It is the patient’s body, the patient’s mind, the patient’s spirit – the patient’s spark. Without oxygen, it will falter. With oxygen, the entire world gains more light. H2 Spark is where doctors and patients will come together to feed their flames.