15 October 2018

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Are you the kind of person who needs to know or who is afraid of knowing?

Recently I had a diagnostic MRI scan on my back after years of asking for something to be done to diagnose the acute pain I experience on an almost daily basis.  Over this period I was faced with doctors saying that it would simply show degeneration due to age (I’m not that old!) or that whatever it showed would be irrelevant because “we don’t like operating on backs unless we absolutely have to, so it won’t make any difference”.

I kept on ploughing my furrow in life with excruciating spasms of acute pain in between what has become almost endless aching.  The looks on people’s faces who didn’t know what was wrong when I moved a certain way/tried to stand from sitting or sit from standing – those faces were priceless.  I wish I could have captured them and taken them to my doctors so that they could see the impact my pain was having on others!

Finally, I have had an MRI scan – still being told it was almost bound to only show ‘degeneration with age’, but maybe seeing that would give me peace of mind.

Results day – bearing in mind I have always said the reason I wanted some form of diagnostic test was so that I would know what was wrong, be able to get clear guidance as to what was appropriate treatment or therapy and what might risk aggravating my back.

It turns out I have a bulging disc – squished between two vertebrae right where a lot of the aching is and has been.  Plus, I have a slightly misaligned vertebra “impinging on the root” – right where the acute and horrendous spasms of pain occur which cause me to be unable to weight bear down the left side until the spasm eases.

I’m now awaiting guidance from the hospital department about what to do and what to avoid, and, yes, I can probably predict some of it, just like I had some pretty accurate ideas about what might be causing my pain.  But me guessing is not the same as someone trained in the field telling me the reality in light of an MRI scan with clear images.

Why am I telling you all this?

I like to know – not to be left guessing.  Even the bad news.  If I know then I can work on it, come to terms with it, and one way or another find ways to accept whatever it is.  Without that certainty my imagination becomes creative and tends to feed the fear and worry rather than building up the hopes.

In business we face many challenges in terms of the actual work, the types of clients we work with, the periods of change/challenge calling on us to adapt.  Some people prefer to bury their head in the sand hoping it will all be done with when they next come up for air.  Others prefer digging into every nook and cranny until they are overwhelmed by all the multitudes of potential permutations there may be.
Through Finding Perspectives I encourage clients (individually or in teams) to look at the scenario facing them, clarify fact from fiction/reality from prediction.  I then encourage them to explore the skills and insights they already possess and those they may not have realised they have.  In light of all this –
a more realistic view of what is happening + increased awareness of skills/strengths
means they are then able to look at more than one ‘dark-tunnel’ perspective and see a range of potential ways forward.
From that position –
knowledge + understanding = ability to choose the most appropriate way forward in their context.

Back to my story – once I know if it should be yoga, personal trainer, walking, swimming, etc – then I can make informed choices about what I can do to help my back recover, understanding what might make it worse and what is feasible for the person I am.

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