Monday, August 23, 2010


Denial aint just a river in Egypt!

I read through my tweets from last weekend, and I had to laugh at myself. I transitioned from complaining about the denial of the parents of one of my former patients to happily entering into my own state of denial.  Denial can be an important coping mechanism, but it can also be dangereous, so very very dangerous.

In the case of my patient, her parent's denial lead directly to harm being done to her.  Lead to them puposely not bringing her medical history when they brought her to a different ER hoping against all hope that they would be told something different.  That they could be told she was fine.

It makes me sad.  She is a beautiful little girl. Of course they want something different than to accept that her time is limited.  Because that is awful, unbelievably awful. Still the fact that painful, unnecessary things were done to her is also awful.

Yet still I laugh at myself because, not 12 hours after I tweeted about the strength of their denial and how sad it made me.  I sat in my doctor's office and heard that I might have a recurrence of my cancer.  I was numb, I couldn't think, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  How can that be??  I'm the picture of health.

My own denial kept me from asking the questions I needed to ask.  My own denial kept me from demanding to find a way to get an answer.  My own denial was every bit as strong.  Every bit as potentially harmful to me, to my health.

Fortunately, within 24 hours, I was out of my state of denial and ready to deal in facts.  I talked to my doctor today.  I'm having more tests done.  We're working on a plan.  I'm out of denial but still oh so scared!


the slackmistress said...


Dr. Lisa said...

Thanks Nina

Adri said...

Wow. It's not surprising you'd want to deny it.

You've got our support Dr. Lisa! I hope the plan you're working on brings answers and relief.

JaxMom said...

Love you lots.

Dr. Lisa said...

Thanks guys!

Jennifer Quinn @JennyQ said...

Lisa --

I just stumbled upon your blog for the first time. I am touched at your honesty, vulnerablity and authenticity conveyed in your writing.

This post on denial hits home with the moment, it feels like such a safe state in which to be. And yet. It often leads us into the most unsafe of all situations.

Thanks for sharing a bit of you with us :-)