What have you learned from your doctor?
Which one? There’s a gastroenterologist. A dermatologist. A hematologist. A psychologist. An infectious disease doc. Of course the “primary care physician”. A surgeon. Oh, the surgeon. THE surgeon. I’ve definitely learned the most from my surgeon. We’ve “been together” for 11 months now – that is EONS in the land of military healthcare where everyone is moving or deploying and you can easily go through 5 doctors before it is YOUR turn to move. She left me once – deployment – but true to her word she is back and picked up right where she left off.
I wish everyone I knew that had to have surgery could have her for a surgeon. What has she taught me?
Vulnerability. The day she came to tell me I had developed a fistula. Her face when she walked through the door – a combination of pain, helplessness, confusion mixed with the concern of a mother and someone who has pledged to “do no harm”.
How to be humble. When things continued to push the borders of typical surgery related issues she sought out the physicians who could help. She was never afraid to say “I don’t know” and quick to take all offered suggestions into consideration.
Transparency. She cried. She sat in my hospital room with my family and she cried. And she looked at my husband in the eyes and told him she was gonna fix this thing if we would let her but she understood if we wanted to move onto to someone else and she would make that happen. She curses. That might offend some people but it just makes me like her that much more. She likes coffee, she hates to run, she drinks sangria and she just put a pool in her backyard. I bet most people don’t know stuff like that about their doctors. But that is who she is.
Kindness. She NEVER seems put out by me. The emails, the phone calls, the pages. She returns them all. She IS a kind heart.
Selflessness. She’s in the military, so that is just a given. I remember her coming to my room in her civilian clothes “just to check on you” as she would say on her way to an event with her family or on the way home from something. I asked her to walk with my team for CCFA’s Take Steps this year. She had guests in from out of town and came anyway – after spending the morning at Sea World with her family.
Strength. I don't know how to put this one into words. She believes in me (where my health is concerned) and that empowers me and strengthens me physically and mentally. It is through HER strength that I am able to find mine is this conundrum that is IBD.
Simply put, she is awesome and I don't believe for ONE SECOND that if I would have been paired up with another surgeon I would be the post-op person I am today.
At Take Steps San Antonio 2012
me, Dr. Pottymouth and Shana my WOCN.
I have since added another WOCN but she had to leave early :)
Find your silver lining and be awesome.