The takeaway is simple; You are both the gatekeeper and holder of the key!
The Gatekeeper and the Key
"Someone needs to DO something about this! It just isn't right."
That was what my patient said when I told her exactly what I am about to tell you. What she 'said' and what she 'meant' by saying it, were both a complete shock to me.
By suggesting that someone (else?) fix what was happening, she had effectively abdicated all responsibility for her wellness.
It was a 'face-palm' moment that has continued to haunt me for over twenty years.
I gently suggested that the 'someone' in her statement, should be her. "You are the gatekeeper," I told her. "Only you can make the necessary changes" to stop this from happening. "Only you can control what comes into your home, gets on your skin, and into your body."
My patient returned a blank stare and, then another of absolute disbelief that I would DARE to suggest that the responsibility for the efforts I had recommended should start and end with no one else but, her.
True story. It was a stressful office visit - to say the least.
Dazed and Confuzed
That was how I felt as my patient recovered from her temporary shock. I can only imagine my look of total disbelief at what I heard pour from her mouth. Lots of 'feelings,' a few disjointed 'beliefs,' but nothing that made any sense to me. She may as well have been speaking a foreign language. Indeed, I was dazed by the soaring heights she would go to place responsibility somewhere else. And, I was completely confused by her apparent unwillingness to make an effort to approach the situation logically.
Granted, I was proposing some rather substantial lifestyle changes to prevent the episodes of painful skin rashes that had plagued her for years and, that now had begun on her daughter; But, who else has the actual power to make it right - if not us? The takeaway is simple; You are both the gatekeeper and holder of the key!