When I am King...
Doctors will predict the worst possible outcome for their patients.
Whenever I go to my doctor, I try to envision the worst-case scenario for my latest injury. For a neck issue, I went with paralysis. For my shoulder, I opted for amputation. And I make a habit of telling my doctor that I’ll see her the next time my body falls apart, unless I’m dead.
My doctor seems to find these predictions alarming and rushes to assure me that the surgeon is not going to amputate, or that my cold is not lethal. But I find it comforting to know the worst that can happen and to verbalize it. Sure, I probably just have a sore throat - but what if it's an early indicator of Bubonic Plague? Or what if that slight headache really is a brain tumor?
The optimist would say that you should look on the bright side. See the positive aspects of any situation and hope for the best. I do consider myself an optimist. To me, the glass is always half full. But I wouldn't drink it because it could be laced with cyanide.
My method of hoping for the best is to realistically consider the worst. Then things can only get better from there. And if things are as bad as I predict, I have the satisfaction of being right, which always feels good.
For example, maybe amputation is an extreme outcome for a sore shoulder. But what if the injury takes a long time to heal? Or what if it requires surgery, which can have risks and complications? These would be unfortunate to one simply hoping for the best. But in my world, they’re not so bad compared to hauling out the bone saw and hacking off the limb.
When I am King, doctors will clearly outline the bleakest possibilities for patients. For example, your doctor might say, “You appear to have a cough, Mr. Jones. This may just be the cold that is going around, but it could also be the beginning stages of any number of terminal diseases. You should put your affairs in order just in case. See you next time, unless you’re dead.”
Sure, these consultations might be a bit of a shock at first. But imagine, after each illness recedes, how wonderful you’ll feel just to be alive. Until the last one, of course. Your doctor will eventually be right about the worst case scenario, which will give them that satisfying "I told you so" feeling. That'll be nice for them.