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What does support mean?

There is truly no such thing as a 'typical' patient

This week I want my blog to have a theme, and I’ve chosen this theme to be support. I chose this theme because for the past week and a half, I’ve been working in the Women’s Health Centre and have gotten to see first-hand some pretty incredible demonstrations of support.

One huge thing that I’ve learned while working in the Women’s Health Centre is how truly individual each person and patient is. Whether it’s making decisions about their own health or how they handle and react to different situations, there is truly no such thing as a 'typical' patient. I think this is part of what makes medicine amazing – getting the chance to meet and interact with all kinds of people and getting to know them all, even if it’s just briefly.

I’ve noticed that people also vary in how they perceive and receive support from those who are close to them. Some are comforted by the simple presence of a loved one whereas others prefer presence as well as verbal statements of support and reassurance. There’s no right or wrong way to receive support, but there are definitely many different ways to provide it, and in the Women’s Health Centre I’ve gotten to see it all. I was so moved by seeing over and over again women who have amazing supporters in their life, whether that be a partner, a mother, a sister, or a close friend.

To support someone is not always an easy thing to do. I’ve been thinking about whether it’s possible to support someone without agreeing or whether the two must go hand in hand. I think to support without agreeing shows an immense amount of trust. It says: “I trust you enough to believe that you know what is best for you right now.” The way I see it, a good supporter is someone who is able to bring out in others the strength, courage, and confidence that has been there all along.

For me personally, having people who I know I can count on for support means the world to me. I often find myself thinking about how grateful I am for the amazing support system I am lucky enough to have. Whether it’s my parents, encouraging me to work for what I believe in; faculty in the college, who reach out to students to make sure everything is okay; or my incredible friends, who I know I can always count on whether they are near or far, I am so fortunate to be surrounded by people who have my back.

I’ll end this post with a quote that I think fits with my theme (because really, who doesn’t like a good inspirational quote).

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

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