Growing up we had family friends up the street named the Saporitos. No, they were not a Netflix series about the mob in Cleveland. Mr. and Mrs Sap, as we called them, would come over and share tales of their travels. She dominated a room as a bold and beautiful Italian woman and Mr.Sap fit every Italian stereotype you could imagine.

One time, my three sisters and I were sitting around the dinner table when we were all home from college, listening to them recount their trip to New York City.  I could hear Mrs. Sap describing to my sisters “there were lights, music, beautiful people, incredible food, plays and so much more!” At the same time Mr. Sap is giving his experience, “NYC is filled with bums, crime, graffiti, trash, crap in the city…”

I stopped them both and ask them, “Did you go to NYC at the same time?” Their response in unison was, “We never left each others side!”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s Up to You

I experience this with my patient’s all the time.  A similar diagnosis will not always be taken the same way. Your outlook will determine what you experience more so than your health condition. I understand Mr. Sap though, for me a good trip to NYC is sending my wife!

Seriously, patients share with me all the time that “Jane Doe told me this is what happened to her and now I am going experience it when I have this treatment or that surgery.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are all different. Look at how we all have different reactions contracting COVID. Your outcomes are always determined by a multitude of factors.

Your health and fitness level coming into an injury or disease, your diet, and most of all you attitude/outlook will always be important factors in how you handle illness. I always give patients the same advice I give my children going into a class in school that is taught by a teach with a reputation. The advice is simple:

Don’t let others project their experience on you. Go in with an open mind and experience it for yourself. Be open to new ideas.

Patients, I tell them to be open to ideas and treatments that are new. Be positive. See what happens for you.

One thing I learned is that your experience will live up to your expectations.

Our time on earth is meant to be enjoyed. So look at NYC through Mrs. Sap’s eyes because it sure sounds like she had a better trip!