Many of you will come to know me as Dr. No. Often I find myself making recommendations NOT to do certain activities over doing them. It’s safer and less complicated. For example, “Don’t ride a motorcycle.” Pretty much everyone knows it’s unsafe to ride a motorcycle, even if you enjoy riding one.
But wouldn’t it be equally easy for me to say, “It’s okay to ride a motorcycle… on a flat, dry, straight road with a helmet on?” Of course not, because you can still get maimed doing just what the doctor recommended.
Here’s another one: Is it okay to eat sugar? Sure… you can eat sugar in the form of fruit. You can have a little bit every day. Yes, you can have a little honey in your coffee. Just a little piece of dark chocolate? Of course, but for a diabetic, that might be a problem. So it’s easier–and frankly better–for me to say, “NO” to sugar.
What if I were to say, “It’s okay for everyone to walk for exercise.” What if I were to write a blog that said, “Everyone needs to go out and walk.” That seems pretty simple, even helpful, but from my standpoint, it might not be because some people are unsteady on their feet. Some people, despite wearing the best shoes and walking on the flattest surface, will still show up with a stress fracture, knee pain or a twisted ankle. In a way, a doctor’s recommendation to walk is no different than a recommendation to take a pill, or have a surgery.
My patients, whether they see me in the office or read my words in a blog, are going to take my words as a professional recommendation, so I must be careful with my words. It’s often easier to say, “NO.”
And now you get to know me as Dr. No!