Often, I use the analogy of peeling an onion to help my patients visualize their illnesses and health. An onion has many layers, each unique yet looking similar to the ones next to it. Each layer of an onion affects all the other layers.
When you buy an onion at your local supermarket, the outside layer is often thickened and discolored. In order to assess the quality of an onion, you often have to peel away the outside layers until you reach the healthy core.
When dealing with humans, physicians often have to get past the thickened, discolored outside layers of a person’s life in order to reach the healthy, vital core of their patient’s existence.
“Doc, I don’t feel good. Do you think it’s stress related?”
“Doc, I’m having problems maintaining an erection. Do you think I have low T?”
“Doc, I have . . . Do you think it’s . . .?”
Solving my patient’s problems often means peeling back the layers of his life, carefully, one at a time. Rarely is there a simple cause for human suffering. Most of the time, the bad layers adversely affect the good layers; and, sometimes, it is impossible to discern which layer is the culprit.
When something is bothering you or making you sick, carefully peel back the onion and explore what is under the surface. Share your findings with your doc; it will help him help you.