My daughter gave me this story today and I loved it. I don't know if it is really true or not, but I could so see it happening. I hope it makes you laugh too!!
This is supposedly by Robert Armstrong, MD
I work part-time as a teacher of family doctors. The program provides training of psychiatric disorders and emphasizes the importance of emotional support. The new doctor are given plenty of time in clinic to visit with their patients and learn about their challenges.
One of our interns who has never lived in Utah and knows nothing about Mormons is still struggling to understand the cultural climate here. Last week he was interviewing a new patient and stumbled on what he thought was a raging psychosis.
Doctor: "Well, Mrs. Olsen, we've talked about your high blood pressure and your medications. Are you experiencing any particular stress in your life?"I laugh every time I read this one! Just in case you are not a Latter Day Saint (Mormon), I will explain. The Sunbeams are the three year old children. I just got done teaching that class for the past two years. They can be quite a handful, still, it is very rewarding as well as challenging.
Patient: "Oh, yes! It's the Sunbeams. They're driving me crazy."
Doctor: (very surprised) "The sun beams?"
Patient: "Yes. I've never had trouble with them before, but this group won't sit still. They bounce all over the room, and run out the door and down the hall."
Doctor: (reaching for a pen) "Have you told anyone about this?"
Patient: "Of course, I told the president."
Doctor: "Really! What did the president tell you?"
Patient: "She said Sunbeams are like that. I'm just going to have to learn to deal with them."
Doctor: "(concerned that he may be missing something) "I know people who are sensitive to sun beams. Do they cause you a rash or anything?"
Patient: (confused) "A rash? No."
Doctor: "What is the biggest problem they're creating?"
Patient: "It's the noise. They just won't quit talking."
Doctor: (astonished) "The sun beams are talking to you?"
Patient: "Well, yes. But mostly thy talk to each other."
Doctor: (scribbling furiously in the chart) "I see. Can anyone else hear them talking?"
Patient: (after a moment of stunned silence) "You're not LDS, are you?"
One of the things about this that I like the most is that this patient was explaining something to her doctor based on her own experiences with the world that she lived in. She thought he would understand. On the other hand, he thought he was understanding even though his perceptions of her words were completely wrong.
I have learned that it is totally easy to misunderstand those around us. Even when we are trying our best to help them. It is easy to think we know something. But honestly, we can't possible know unless we have experienced the same types of things in our own life. I have realized that so many things can be explained simply by asking the right questions and then listening (really listening and not thinking of our answer in return) to their explainations.
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."