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Your words about fear are wise and they resonate with me. I've had countless "pep talks" with myself about fear, read books about fear, but nothing really made sense in a way that it changed my beliefs about fear. I never thought of it as an obstacle blocking my path to the life that I love. I had never considered that many people don't have the luxury of choice, when it comes to being disabled. It IS a gift to have choice. Absolutely. I also found your description of "the road to ability" versus "the road to disability" to be very enlightening. I AM on the road to disability. I had not considered it in those terms, but those terms are truth. I don't know how far down this road I have travelled, but I think that it is time for me to "turn around," so to speak, and go in another direction. What I am doing is NOT working for me. I laughed when I thought about my leprechaun singing. I have imagined him talking, when I had the MRI and he was banging on the tube. I actually told him aloud,"You must not be a very bright leprechaun. You can simply open the door and come in!" I did imagine him muttering in a lovely Irish brogue. I like the idea of the endoscope being a "magic flute." I have already decided to go see 2 other surgeons for advice. I just need to secure an appointment. I also read on your website that you asked your oral surgeon to tell you something about himself that had nothing to do with being an oral surgeon. That approach also makes sense, because we always feel more comfortable putting our trust in someone that we "know." I am rarely fearful when I have a physician/friend perform any procedure for me. I am able to direct my mind more toward the "friend" part of our relationship, than the physician role.Your words are helpful and liberating for me. I definitely will be asking more questions and getting more input from other surgeons. The choices are there, but I must be like my persistent leprechaun from the MRI, and knock on those doors! Thank you for sharing some of your experiences; many lives are touched.

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Replies to "Jennifer, Your words about fear are wise and they resonate with me. I've had countless "pep..."

@pianopain12 That is what I did too. I thought about my surgeon not as a doctor, but as a nice guy with a family who was really happy in his life, like to the next door neighbor you want to have who is there to help. My reasoning was that yes, it helped me feel safe because my fears were rooted long ago in being bullied when I was young, and I was never safe, and that just got worse when I had to go to the doctor or dentist and endure some painful event from a guy who didn't care about my feelings. That was the child in me, and this thinking wasn't serving me well anymore. My parents had not been supportive when I was young and I was teased about being afraid. I had to re-frame that thinking into looking at my options as an adult where I get to make educated choices, which included the choice to get some help on the path to regaining my ability. The other important reason that I wanted doctors who were relaxed and personable and compassionate was that I wanted to know there were happy in their professions. Physician burnout is very real, and I felt safer if I knew my doctors were not stressed out. Also for the first time, I had doctors who were a generation younger than I am who are still enthusiastic and loving their careers. I asked them why they chose their profession as one of my interview questions, and I asked other medical professionals who worked with them if they were happy at their jobs. I had taken things a step farther too by making sketches of my doctors so I could like them. That was a little mind game I played with myself because I only draw or paint what I like, and I wanted to train myself to like them even though I didn't know a lot about them, but knowing that they loved and cared for their children was enough for me because I felt safe if I knew that their kids felt safe.