The Right Question Requires the Right Response

A nagging and recurring elbow injury had finally forced my hand to seek medical attention. After meeting with an orthopedic surgeon, the diagnosis was more than tennis elbow or bursitis, it was a situation that would require surgery to fix.

With surgery come the pre-operative exams such as blood work, chest X-ray, and EKG. Additionally, medical clearance was needed by my primary care physician. I also needed to have a negative COVID test within five days of surgery. No problem, I can take care of these things easily. As is my nature, my attitude was great, and I was ready and motivated to have the surgery.

Having completed almost all the testing requirements, I still needed to have my COVID test. No worries, just one more box to cross off the list of pre-surgery to-dos. I signed in and waited for my name to be called. As the nurse greeted me, she asked me how I was doing. That’s an easy one I thought, as I answer this question about a dozen times a day. My answer, borrowed from my good friend Jerry Nazzaro, is always, “Great, couldn’t be better if I tried.”

Her response, “Well then, why don’t you try?”

Her answer was so simple, so direct, and yet took me a little by surprise. You see, I have been responding to that question for so many years in the same way and typically people either smile or reply with something such as, “That’s awesome, I wish I felt that good.” But never, “Well then, why don’t you try?”

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