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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

When You Need A Second Set of Ears

Posted by Josh Patrick

listen resized 600I’ve been through the ringer when it comes to our health care system.  It all started a little over four years ago.  I felt lousy and I couldn’t figure out why.  I had seen my doctor more than a few times.  He had no ideas either.  I was starting to feel like he thought I was a hypochondriac. 

Having that feeling was very annoying.  Instead of ordering tests to find out what was going on, he just threw his hands up.  Then it happened: I had a health event that sent me to the emergency room.  Although what I thought was real (having a heart attack) wasn’t the problem it did finally get me the tests I should have had in the first place.

This is where I learned that having a second set of ears is not just a good idea; it is crucial.  The second set of ears shouldn’t be your spouse or a sibling.  It should be someone who can listen to what the doctor says and just take notes without becoming emotionally involved.

I can tell you that when I first got my diagnosis of cancer there was no way I was hearing what the doctor was saying.  I had several conversations running around in my head and none of them had anything to do with what my treatment plan might look like.  I bet that if you’ve had a similar experience you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Having those second set of ears helped me figure out what I needed to do, what decisions I had to make, and what decisions I could put off to the future.  When an extreme change happens in your life it’s easy to become overwhelmed.  Research shows that your mental capacity significantly decreases.  Do you really want to be making decisions about life and death issues when you’re not thinking well? 

Knowing what I had to decide made life a little easier.  Everything else could be put off to another day.  I eventually got around to dealing with all of the stuff I put off, but major decisions weren’t being made under pressure.  Having that second set of ears helped in the decision process.

Sometimes those in the health care industry want you to start making decisions that aren’t very important right along with the ones that are really important.  Having someone take notes about what’s going on helped me prioritize what needed immediate attention and those that could be put off for a while.

If you have a major event going on in your life, get a neutral party to go with you to your meetings.  Ask them to take notes, and then review those notes after you get back.  You’ll likely make better decisions along the way.  Isn’t making decisions at the right time in a way that benefits us what we all want?

We have a workbook on what we call the Decision Free Zone.  This complementary workbook will help you figure out what’s important and urgent and learn how to schedule everything else.  To get your copy of this workbook, click on the button below.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.

Topics: communication, learning experiences, asking why

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