Through blogs and comments, patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

It's Not Complaining if It Helps

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For many people, the month of January is synonymous with making resolutions. But Barbara Kivowitz of the In Sickness as in Health blog has one that may sound a bit unconventional: to complain more. The notion of complaining "has a bad rap," she says. Different than a whine, Barbara believes that complaining can relieve stress, renew flagging energy, and help you connect more honestly with people around you. In her words, "It may still be peevish to whine, but it's authentic to complain."

Few of us enjoy going to the dentist, but blogger, Warm Socks, is particularly uncomfortable in the dentist's chair. Having rheumatoid arthritis means that getting up too quickly from a fully reclined position is painful. After her repeated requests (some might say complaints) that the dentist take his time and raise the chair slowly were ignored, Warm Socks found a new provider. "Finally," she says, "I no longer need to dread the back pain associated with time spent in a dental chair."

In her post, Thanks to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Not the Future We Expected, RA Warrior Kelly Young suggests that there's a meaningful difference between complaining and simply talking about the hardships of one's illness. Last September, her 7-year-old son was found to have 20/600 vision and no depth perception in his left eye. He handled the news well for a while, but later he cried when he "realized some things in his life and future would not be the same." When it comes to our health, Kelly writes, "we cannot know the future, but'?¦This is your life. It is the only life you have'?¦love it as much as possible, counting whatever blessings [you] can to outnumber the losses."

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Patient Perspectives round up recent posts from patient blogs and are part of the Center for Advancing Health’s portfolio of free, evidence-based coverage of what it takes to find good care and make the most of it.


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