Years ago my brother suggested that I stop referring to myself and my colleagues as “infertility” doctors, but rather as “fertility” doctors. I took his advice to heart. It made sense to emphasize the positive and not the negative. As I have seen in my practice again and again, the power of attitude and positive psychology is profound.
If you know cancer survivors who have outlasted the grimmest of diagnoses, you have likely observed that these patients are adamant about beating the disease. From the moment they are diagnosed they fight the disease with an internal strength that is awe-inspiring. Their determination is a profound example of how the way in which we “frame” situations helps us to suffer less.
Buddha has been quoted as having said: ”Pain is human, suffering is optional.” Appreciating what you have and accepting life’s reality can be so difficult and yet so necessary in both moving through and moving forward. It reminds me of the expression, “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw the man who had no feet.” But how does one find gratitude during a time of adversity?
As a physician, I see my role as teacher, coach, surgeon, diagnostician and most of all, healer. My goal is to help patients get beyond their “diagnosis” and feel whole. I am blessed to accompany my patients through sacred moments, happy and sad. I have been by my patient’s side during their inability to conceive, miscarriage, cancer diagnosis, divorce and the loss of a loved one. There is no question that it is not always easy to be thankful during these times.
Facing reality and tackling the issues can be overwhelming and intimidating. I have found that it is best to take things one day at a time, and realize our life is a story with a beginning, middle and end. Every day we are writing that story, and we don’t know the ending. We can proceed with help from doctors, friends and loved ones. We can’t know the outcome, but we can do what we can to try to make our situation a little brighter. We can practice gratitude. We can be thankful for what we do have.
During this time of Thanksgiving, let’s embrace the positive and focus on what we do have rather than what we have not yet attained.
Together We’ll Find A Way
If you would like more information or to discuss you health, please contact fertility doctor Dr. Tina Koopersmith.