Illness Is A Team Effort

Illness Is A Team Effort

posted in: MedxMondays, Stanford Medx | 0

Head Up, Heart Strong.

That was Matthew Dudley’s message and a key phrase that I’ll always remember.

As I sat there watching this live at medx, I had tears in my eyes and chills all over my body. As I sat here at home watching it, I again had chills and was just so overly taken back by what a strong soul Matt is. To face such a heavy diagnosis, with a young family and a whole life ahead of him, Matt’s determination is beautiful.



There are so many thoughts floating in my head right now I don’t even know where to begin!

“At the bottom of that pile of debris, a patient has a choice. Freak out, struggle, waste energy or, keep calm, take stalk and begin the dig back toward life. The option is there. Check your pulse and realize you won’t do it alone. A team effort above and below is needed.”

I truly believe we all go through a freak out, struggle and waste energy phase. I know mine lasted for about 9 months. It wasn’t until I truly realized that I had a choice in my health, that I began to dig myself out of my own avalanche.

How about you?

Do you realize that you’re not alone?

Do you realize that we have an amazing resource at our finger tips that can provide us unwavering support?

The internet helped Matt get his story out – first on his Caring Bridge site and now on his own blog.

“In medicine and health care we have a choice…Encourage others and participate or be passive?”

This is really a thought-provoking quote.

At first, my thoughts surrounded my own health story. Am I a passive character in my healing journey? If I were to identify with being a passive character, why would that be? Would it be that I didn’t believe I had any other option? Or would it be that I didn’t have support?

But this quote also provokes another question – how do I participate in other’s healing journeys? Matt talked about how it’s a team effort and that he encouraged others to help unload some of the burden off of his shoulders. How can we do the same for others? I’m not saying that we all need to start a blog, share our stories and get out there motivating others, but by simply being a support for someone, you can really help their dig.

“Simply put. No one felt my pain. A patients’ pain is individual. But we all suffer together when we know the story. We can all help carry the burden of an illness if we are encouraged to do so.”

Let’s all take the message that Matt gave us and go join someone’s excavation team. By spreading love and support, we can help others facing tough diagnosis’ keep their head up and their hearts strong.

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!