Had a visit to a fracture clinic today about my inflamed right foot. I’d been to a walk in clinic and an urgent care centre where both said it was inflamed and needed ice/elevation. Met this doctor today who basically said it’s not due to trauma (I thought some added physical activities may have done something to it) but possibly due to gout. There was one moment that didn’t sit well with me. Generally speaking, this doctor was professional in his decor. However, he said “This issue isn’t because of trauma.” What I heard him say was “This isn’t because you injured it. How can you not tell whether the cause is trauma or not? Why are you wasting my time here?” Because I didn’t interpret the situation properly, it was wrong in using such a word as “trauma” (though it never was my word to begin with). (I also found it interesting that the urgent care doctor referred me to him, so maybe that doctor doesn’t know trauma.)

I must admit though, there are probably many other times when I’ve made comments such as that and the recipient felt demeaned or inferior. In our sphere of influences, we tend to have common terminology which others just don’t understand. And when they do try to use it (incorrectly), we almost give an ere of “how could you possibly think THAT was the definition?” This goes for clusters in churches to athletes to tech geeks to etc, etc., etc.

Perhaps we need a reminder at times that not everyone understands even the same words the same way. If that happens, take a step back, help to re-define the word and allow a space for both people to proceed on a more common ground. Otherwise, this sets up a sense of superiority that (hopefully) isn’t intended in the first place. (That’s another blog for another day.)