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What is the matter? Friday December 16, 2016

There has been recent research into what makes an efficient hospital that is also beneficial to patients.

In the past the studies were based on what is the matter with you? It always focused on the health of the patient and what was wrong with them.

It was concerned with what was the best way that the hospital and medical professionals could fix things.

New research is asking a different question. It asks what matters to you? The results are interesting because what matters to the patient is quite different from the concerns of the health administrators. They had been concerned with efficiency, timing, medical health and routines.

Some patients told the simple things that matter to them like having the staff knock before entering the room, having the staff greet them with a smile and it was important that the medical procedures were explained clearly to them.

I thought this research was relevant and helpful.

Have you heard people ask what is the matter with you in a frustrating and slightly angry way?

I have and before I can answer they may say "What have you got to complain about? You are so lucky. You should be grateful you aren't really sick."

What if someone asked you what matters to you?

Sometimes it may not be the question but the fact that someone has actually asked you.

The answer may be as simple as a hug or, it may be you just want to have your mood/illness acknowledged.

What matters to you right now might not matter to you tomorrow. I found it important that someone is asking and someone is ready to listen.

What do you think?

Would it help you if the question changed from what is the matter with you to what matters to you?

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Mary Wednesday Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 6:59am

On Wednesday I attended a business networking meeting. Afterwards I received an email from the co-ordinator saying how lovely it was to see me, that she knows how hard it is for me and how impressed she is that I still manage to deliver my "now legendary" one minute presentation when I am so poorly. That acknowledgement means the world to me and is one of the reasons I make that monthly meeting a priority even when my energy levels have sunk through the floor.

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 7:36am

Mary, I agree it is so important for someone to acknowledge the big effort one makes when low and bereft of energy.

Lou Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 7:13am

Being heard and acknowledged makes such a big difference. This blog really resonated, thank you Leah.

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 7:36am

Lou, those words really can mean a lot instead of the endless what is wrong with you etc/

Orangeblossom Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 7:34am

Hi Leah yes, I like to also be acknowledged & affirmed which energises me immensely. Sometimes, if English isn't a person's mother tongue, then expressing emotion can be difficult. My Mum used to say when I wasn't feeling great "what is happening to you". That always made me feel worse. Maybe she also felt at a loss & maybe it came out wrong for her!

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 7:38am

Orangeblossom, It must be harder for people who do not have English as their mother tongue. Also most people find it hard to know what to say when someone is depressed so they just ask lots of questions.

Tutti Frutti Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:36am

Hi all
I need to apologise to Caroline, Becky and others for remarks yesterday about needing to sort your sleep out when living with hypomania. Sleep would be helpful but I marched in without recognising that sleeping tablets don't work as well for everyone as they do for me and you have probably tried it all already. As Leah's blog points out, a get on and fix it lecture is not a helpful approach. So I am very sorry for subjecting you to that yesterday when it is the last thing people on here need. Tact is not my strong point but I will try harder not to fire off ill considered remarks. Sorry again. Love TF x

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:41am

TF Don't be so hard on yourself. Like all of yourself you want to help others. You mean well and you are kind.xx

Tutti Frutti Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:56am

Thanks Leah. I am not very good at hearing nice things about myself so you just made me cry but in a good way. (And crying is probably good for clearing my head which is very bunged up with a terrible cold.) andAs you say, my intentions are good but I still think it's right to apologise when I've been crass about the way I have said something and clearly made some people feel worse. And it can't harm to read over my remarks and try to tone the black and white stuff down in future either. Love TF x

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 9:17am

I think apologising is good at times. I over apologise, I even write a blog about it once!! Of course we can learn how phrase our comments. My daughter tells me I have a tonal problem, because I sometimes use the wrong tone but my intention is to be helpful but it comes across as patronising!! You come across as very sincere but sometimes this can be misinterpreted. xx

Debs Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 9:10am

Beautiful blog Leah, really made me think. It's so important to understand people and let them be heard. What's the matter always sounds so accusatory to me - it's akin to 'what have you got to upset about?!' Whereas a simple what matters to you come from the heart and is a deep enquiry into what is in that persons soul.

Lately I've been asking myself a similar question... what matters to me? And the answers are very telling. Love, family, quiet time, peace, being a contribution. Sometimes what the matter is, is that I'm not doing enough of what matters to me...

Thanks lovely Leah, you've opened my mind to a new perspective this morning :-)) xx

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 9:19am

Debs Lovely to hear from you. Sometimes we are so busy worrying what matters to others that we forget about what matters to ourselves. I want to please others but this gets exhausting and of course I rarely get it right. Thanks for your kind words.

The Gardener Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 10:18am

Please excuse a bitter moment - this 'what's the matter with you?' Mr G's permanent cry - I am not allowed to cry ' stop that at once', If I drop off to sleep he wakes me because I cannot 'look after him' when asleep. The bitterness is that Alzheimers has hardened an attitude that was already there. In our younger days, if I said I did not feel well he would immediately counter that he was unwell too - no hope of feet up in an armchair with a comforting cup of tea. My father was the same - a cold and he virtually collapsed - I lived with him after my parents' separation - I had appalling period pains - he would tell me to stop moaning and get on with my work. Under all this moaning is a real question - are all women martyrs? Are all men hypochondriacs? I also think I have been 'toughened' by not giving in to certain pains like back and shoulders which, truthfully, have got better after a good telling-off by the physio and taking more exercise (and, real suffering, lifelong battle to keep the weight off). Lou, your 'being heard and acknowledged' is what I crave - may be no solution, but at least you have sympathy. Can't resist little example - third son, living in France, was coming back for his 21st birthday (with a French bird, no English). Boats were delayed - they eventually arrived at 11 p.m. Daughter-in-law hopelessly drunk, My Ma criticising everything (she could blame the French as well, a bonus!). We started the party - which was enjoyed by all. We did not get to toasts and birthday cake till 4 a.m. I fell to bits, and said to 2nd son 'You'll have to do it, I can't cope'. His face! And his shocked response. 'I've never seen you when you can't cope!'

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 10:49am

Gardener, I think there are martyrs and hypochondriacs and it depends on personality but not geneder. Just my experience. Others may disagree. Your anecdotes make me smile. So what matters to you now with your life. what is important to you?

Sally Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 11:14am

Yes, it WOULD help if the question were changed to" What matters to you".
In hospitals, what matters to me is that the staff look up from their console to greet visitors to the ward. I've known it so often not be the case. So rude.
Out on a walk in the country, it matters too when people greet you, acknowledge your presence.
Being heard is an essential one.
Victoria Wood once did a good take on that, where the consultant is talking about her to his retinue, as she lies timidly in bed, and she imagines saying to him "Err,hello. Look, I'm not expecting you to take me out to dinner, but hello would've been nice!" How the audience howled at that one! Visibly recognising or having experienced something similar.

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:28pm

Sally Thanks for your reply. It is so true that a simple smile and hello can mean so much especially in a hospital setting where sometimes you feel like a number and not a person. I find that the recently trained medical staff will introduce themselves, greet you and smile. Maybe it is the new training.

Michael Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 12:37pm

Cannot really comment today. Somebody increased Gravity. Everything heavy today.

Tutti Frutti Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 2:58pm

Michael I am sorry you are feeling bad today. Take care. Love and hugs TF xoxo

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:29pm

Michael I am sorry you are feeling so heavy today. I do appreciate the effort you took to comment. Thinking of you , Leah

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:29pm

See TF, this is what I mean about how you think of othersxx

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 1:30pm

Great topic Leah! Like Lou, I think being acknowledged is so important to me. Most people in my life don't know about my depression largely because of my experience when I did discuss it with my ex partner. It was not acknowledged on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Very damaging. So I hid it away. More damage. Acknowledgement (even my own!) for me is key. I love this discussion, thank you, love ratg x.

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:33pm

Ratg Thanks for your comments. It is hard when you have told or keep telling people and they dont understand at all so you keep it to yourself. If I have made a big effort doing something that I really didnt think I could do, I acknowledge to myself or try to, and try to be proud of myself. I am still working on this as I tend to be critical of myself a lot. Thanks fpr making me think about the importance of self acknowledgement. x

Benjamin Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 1:33pm

This is related to the love languages, Maslow, the issue of poverty vs inequality, and many other topics that people are discussing. The main thrusts are difficult because they tread into two questions: what people care about seems to be the most important things to them - and, we often think that people don't know what is actually good for/important for them. Are we right? Does the alcoholic really need that next drink as much as he thinks he does (to use an extreme example)? There are opposite examples, where it seems clear that the person providing may be blinkered.

In the end, another line of argument is the question of how communities dole out responsibilities. Basically, people need to volunteer, but just because they volunteer doesn't mean they get to serve in that capacity. Their service must be accepted. Meanwhile, people can't be drafted into service in most capacities, either. So it is a kind of handshake (to use a technical reference) or negotiation.

In a broader philosophical sense, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; there is something inherent in the beautiful thing. This is demonstrated when many different observers recognize the same beauty. However, it is also not entirely in the thing. The beauty, if you will, is the virtue of the thing, recognized by the beholder in a moment of the beholder's own virtuous action. In a sense, there is a revealing, a gaze, a recognition - and thus, beauty!

What I'm saying, in technical terms, is that beauty is an emergent property that exists only in the relationship between the beheld and the beholder. Similarly, service only exists between the server and the served, when it is offered and received. As a result, it is logically concluded, that 'medical service' can only be 'good' when it is well-offered and well-accepted. This general line of thought extends to many, many things...

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:36pm

Benjamin Thanks for your detailed analysis. You have raised many different philosophical issues. I am thinking that discussing issues in depth is something that matters to you.

Jul Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 5:25pm

Hi Leah.I think changing the way the question is worded is novel and interesting. I would love to have that luxury of telling people what matters to me and being strong enough to carry it through. At the moment I feel so overwhelmed with not sleeping and Christmas etc coming up, people to entertain, and socialise with starting tomorrow, what matters to me right now, is getting through the next 10 or so days. It's completely daft how this time of the year affects us so negatively. Jul xx

Leah Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 8:38pm

Jul, Thanks for your comment. It is strange that this joyous time of yer causes so much stress to people. I wish you well on getting through the next ten days. I never thoiught of tlling others what matters to oneself is a luzury but for many it would be. Take care Leah xx

The Gardener Fri, Dec 16th 2016 @ 9:51pm

Leah many posts above says 'what matters to me?' To find an avenue of peace somewhere - every night I go to bed thinking of something nice to do on the morrow, however minor - I can think of nothing (except watch final of 'Strictly' to which I am addicted - but which Mr G tries to wreck - too loud, too bright). I want to garden in the old house - too wet when I had aid - but Mr G won't cross the road. What I WILL do is canvass the neighbours, and see if any one of them will have him just for half an hour - I need the physical exercise - scraping moss, hacking down the summer bedding - to actually breathe out the angst and the awful imprisonment of Christmas coming, all dark, everyone else busy and Mr G hates all my lights. Jul, how about a life swap? I'm run in on the entertaining front - 250 people for a charity do in our second house farm yard (wreck when we brought it, now for sale for £5 million) many moons ago. It was notable for: running out of food, go-go dancers tassels falling off (several farmers injured in the rush) and five women driving off in disgust leaving me to find room for 5 husbands for the night - all of whom claimed their wives did not understand them.

Leah Sat, Dec 17th 2016 @ 1:07am

Gardener I hope you get that avenue of peace. I can see how scraping moss and hard physical exercise would be helpful. I was distracted by the go go dancers with tassels falling off and misunderstood men!!

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