Nobody Likes a Complainer
“So, nothing has changed since your last visit?” the nurse asked.
I started on the litany of side-effects and stopped myself. “No, nothing.”
“Nothing you want to hear anyway.”
I looked at her and stated, “Look, you have more important things to do than listen to me gripe about aches and pains and nausea. I am sure there are other patients here that really need to tell you about a serious problem.”
“You are my patient now, and I want to hear what is going on,” she said matter-of-factly.
She stared at me.
“Nobody likes a complainer,” I said.
“You have to tell someone about what is going on. You have to get it off your chest.”
“No I don’t. I can live with it and they can live without it.”
I proceeded to explain my feeling that people had to get on with their lives. Being the constant sounding board for someone going on about every little detail of their treatment was not beneficial. I have a family that needs to enjoy life, so I participate when I can and I disappear when I can’t. The same with friends and work. Everyone is free to do normal stuff and I don’t feel like a burden. There is this natural reaction to “turtle”. Haul yourself into your shell and wait until the trouble has passed. Turtle and you miss the things in life that you can still enjoy. It is a fine line between being a burden and not.
I am not sure she bought into it. However, she didn’t ask me any more questions. I think she knew that if there was something serious, I would mention it. Otherwise, I’ll just smile.
I meet with the new guy today. You never know. I might have a lot to complain about tomorrow. Or not.