Following is the transcript of the three minute video clip of my conversation with David Simon, MD, about his new book, Free to Love, Free to Heal. I will be loading the video to my brand spankin’ new YouTube account tomorrow morning. Tried doing it tonight, but it took too damn long, and I wanna get to sleep!
LOOLWA KHAZZOOM: You know, when we talk about — I think again, how I see things, and it seems to me you’re alignment with my thinking, is there’s a personal piece of, “What can I do? Regardless of what’s going on, regardless of how our medical system is, regardless of, you know, my situation with family or money or friends, or whatever, what can I do for myself, to maximize my health and wellness?”
I see a component that needs to happen also, above and beyond, you know, saying to people, “This is what you can do,” to encourage those who don’t have it [the condition] to start thinking about what can they do to support people who are dealing with an illness.
DAVID SIMON: Most people are too filled up with their own stuff to think about what someone else needs, and I think that it would be helpful for people who are struggling with an illness to write out a little bit: “These are the things that would really help me get through my day a little easier.”
Maybe it’s just a phone call or a text. Maybe it’s, “Could you offer to bring me dinner once a week?” Maybe it’s, “If you hear of a doctor who is interested in this kind of problem, can you send me a referral?” Sometimes it’s, you know, “Send me a book that you’ve read, or a video that you think I’d find enjoyable.” I think it could be helpful.
LK: “How can I access that compassion?” Instead of going to a place that almost what feels like flogging, you know, that I and numerous other people who have chronic illnesses have experienced this from people. And their intention, I believe, is they’re trying to come from a place of, “Oh, you need to look at what the root is,” or something, but it’s just not going about it in a helpful way.
DS: When I first started integrating ayurvedic principles, I had a lady with migraine headaches; and no matter what we did for this poor woman, she would be in the emergency room every weekend, requesting pain medicine. This was before some of the more modern medications.
And so, you know ,there is always this resistance, “Does she really have a headache, or does she just want some Demerol?” And I remember after coming back from a course in India, where I was really committed now to bringing in more holistic approaches, I said to this lady, whom I’d been caring for a couple of years, “I want to try something different. I want to teach you a little meditation technique, and I want to make little changes in your diet. Are you willing to make those changes?”
And she said, “I’ll do anything that will help me.” And it was really kind of a big shock to me, because I was thinking that if it didn’t come on a prescription, then people wouldn’t accept it. But what I realized is people just want to get better.
And if physicians recognize that everybody really wants to get better, and that if the person isn’t getting better, maybe it’s not because there’s something wrong with the person (the patient ), maybe there’s something wrong with the intervention (with the remedy), and start looking to see where we can bridge that gap, I think that’ll be a profound shift in the way that health care is delivered in our society right now.
But it’s going to take both. It’s going to take intelligent, empowered patients and more open-minded, flexible, heartfelt physicians. And somewhere we’ll get closer together in the long run.