A Positive Attitude… Because of, or Despite?

Mitch Schneider
June 4, 2020

I’ve been told I have a positive attitude. A great attitude. Especially, about how I’ve handled my illness, the transplant, and my recovery.

I’m not sure that’s true. My attitude is good considering what I’ve been through. But there is a difference. Some people equate a positive attitude with the absence of anxiety and concern about an unknowable future. And, that isn’t really what a “great attitude” is all about.

Lesley and I just returned home from a trip to Westwood and UCLA for a Doppler Ultrasound. The test was prescribed to eliminate clotting as the potential cause of the swelling I’m experiencing in my lower extremities since the transplant. Clotting is not the likely cause. But it still needed to be ruled.

That doesn’t mean the trip was made without anxiety or concern.  If a clot had been discovered it would have meant a walk across the street and at least a night spent as an inpatient. It would have meant the blood thinners I’ve been taking since December failed, invoking the specter of a stroke or worse. That wouldn’t have paralyzed me with fear. And, it isn’t’ likely I would have dissolved into a puddle of anxiety and concern either.

How do You Spell Relief?

It just means I would have been forced to evaluate my current reality. To realistically look at all the alternatives and literally pull good, great, and positive out of the situation focusing on the fact we caught the clot before it killed me. It would have been all about recognizing that things could have been worse. It would have been about substituting fear with relief. And, while I don’t know about you, I believe relief is a combination of information and action and the opposite of anxiety.

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