The book I chose to read for the book report was Tuesdays with Morrie, which talk sabout Mitch’s mentor who was diagnosed with ALS. I really liked the book, there were many things I agreed with and many things Morrie said that made me think about. It also gave me a little insight on how ALS or Lou Gherig’s Disease affects a person’s life. What kind of attitude did Morrie adopt through this experience? In the book, Morrie was diagnosed with ALS, which is a disease that impacts the function of the muscles.
Little by little he began to lose his ‘freedoms’: he lost his ability to walk, he lost his privacy, he lost the ability to drive, lost the ability to dance, basically he lost his ability to do anything (Albom 4). Morrie, when he found out of his diagnosis, he felt like he was ‘dropping into a hole’, not knowing what was next, feeling empty. (Albom 4). Even though the disease was taking over day by day, the attitude Morrie took towards the disease was actually a positive one. Morrie did not only want to feel sorry for himself, he wanted to make the time he had left worth it; he wanted to fulfill his time with his close friends and family members. Though it didn’t mean he didn’t feel bad or sad about his disease, there were some mornings where he would mourn everything he lost, and would give himself a good cry; and after he let out everything, he would concentrate more on the good things he still had in his life (Albom 17). Different people take life differently, everyone chooses their own view on their life. What are other traumatic experiences that a patient has experienced or could be experiencing?
Before ALS, Morrie suffered traumatic experiences in his life. Morrie developed asthma, the reason why his hobby of dancing stopped. One time while walking with a cold burst of wind left him choking for air; he had to be rushed to the hospital and injected with Adrenalin (Album 3). Some experiences did not have to do with his health at all. Morrie’s mother died when he was young, and the way he found out was not so gentle. A telegram came to his house, but since his father was a Russian immigrant, Morrie had to translate it to him, so he had to read the telegram announcing his mother’s death (Album 21). Death is one sad experience that most people have or will experience. Having family members with a severe disease can also be a traumatic experience. One morning, Morrie’s brother could not move, he had contracted polio (Album 22). Morrie had to take care of his brother, and had to go out to work because they were poor and had no food (Album 22). When one feels all alone, not getting the affection from the person you expect it the most can also not be a great experience. Morrie’s father did not show any affection to him or his brother, not even after their mother died (Album 22). Not all bad or traumatic experiences come from diseases, some come from life itself. Life can give you beautiful moments, but also painful ones.
Could a different attitude affect their health differently?In my opinion, attitude does have some impact on a person’s health. If Morrie hadn’ttaken that positive attitude toward his condition, then I think he would’ve lived the time he had left feeling sorry for himself, feeling regret, anger, and sadness. I’m not saying to always be positive and never have negative feelings, we are human, we are supposed to feel bad sometimes, it’s ok if sometimes we need to cry or let our anger out. Having a more positive attitude toward experiences or things makes them a bit more tolerable. Emotions can, in my opinion, affect health and health issues. Let’s say someone has been diagnosed with a disease, if they have a negative attitude towards it, then their days are going to look miserable to them and their health actually might worsen a little. On the contrary, if they gave it a positive attitude like Morrie did, then their days with the disease would be more tolerable. If you were the main character, how would you react in the same situation? If I were the main character in the book, I don’t think I would have reacted the same as Morrie. Knowing myself, I would have probably felt sorry for myself, and would have been sad.
Maybe I would have tried to have a positive attitude just so my family and close friends wouldn’t feel sorry for me and wouldn’t feel sad for my departure. One thing Morrie did that I would do too is accepting the fact that soon I would depart from this world. I am not afraid to die, I would accept that my time has come, that is one thing I think I have in common with Morrie. One thing I would like to do is to have a ‘living funeral’ like Morrie did with his close friends and family. I would love to hear what the closest persons in my life have left to say before I go. How has reading this book made you a better health care provider? I think it made me a better health provider by giving me little insight of how people liveday by day and how their condition affects them emotionally. It also might help me be more empathetic towards the patients because I don’t know what they are experiencing in their everyday life, I don’t know the struggles they are facing. One thing I think it can help me is to not show that I feel sorry for them, there are persons who don’t like pity, especially if it is for them. I think this book can help me feel more connected to patients and have a little context on how they might be feeling.