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« Relieving Major Depression in Cancer Patients | Main | A Doctor's Guide to Joy »

March 29, 2012


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Bill Kleine

You are right on point when you talk about joy and how sometimes, when troubles come our way, we have to work a little harder to embrace it. Your golf story reminds me of a Social Security claimant who loved his golf. Even though he had apparently disabling back problems [so severe they interfered with his ability to walk]. His doctor knew him [listened to more than the medical] and so helped him find ways to be out and about what he loved safely. I re-interviewed him because, in the grand tradition of the sport, his written description of his golf game did not match the medical evaluation; by his description he wasn't qualified for disability.

As we talked about this sport he loved he opened up and reluctantly admitted just how limited his game actualy was, but he described how he'd learned to modify his swing, how his goal had changed to maybe nine holes, and how much his friends helped him. Without his doctor's support and instruction, he'd have given up an important part of his life. Instead he learned how to adapt and en-joy. He was also awarded the disability his limitations waranted to help replace some of the income he'd lost.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Dear Bill,
Thank you for such a perfect real-life illustration. I'll use it as tomorrow's post. With hope, Wendy

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