When you wind up in a situation like we found ourselves in, you wind up with quite the collection of doctors. I grew up in a community of 800, 3 doctors and we knew all of them. While you could go to any of them if you chose, they cleverly devided the community and which one you initially went to was based on your location in the community. But they all covered for each other and shared us all for on call, hospital coverage. All of them did things like deliver babies, take out tonsils, etc.
I learned only this week that when my sister and I got our tonsils taken out together, it was literally together. So mom didn’t have to stress for hours as one daughter went in, and then another … they took us back together and 2 docs did it. I was surprised to find out that my Dr D didn’t take out mine, but rather Dr. N.
We lost those docs because we moved to colorado.
I don’t remember any docs in the 3 years we lived there.
We moved here and I started to see a doctor.
I befriended a new friend at school and we became quite close. She invited me to spend the night and suddenly doctor comes to sit at the dinner table! I wound up being like a member of the family and the nurses got kick out of letting him know that ‘your other daughter is here” when I’d arrive.
Then .. a letter came. He was quitting medicine.
I lost contact with him when his daughter and I drifted apart over the course of early adulthood. She was in college, I was working.
Then I met my husband and went to his doctor. His doctor and I hit it off quite well. We’d be friends in another setting. He was with us through the first 2 years of our marriage and the still birth of our daughter … all seemed normal till just short of my 25th birthday, all hell broke loose and I gave birth to a sick baby and I entered the world of disability. He saw us through multiple hospitalizations, spurred me on to find out what was really wrong with me (because he didn’t know and he did not agree with the neuro that it ‘just’ post partum depression (just was neuro’s word, not PCP’s, he was furious about that). He saw me through the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis, the thymectomy, the sick babies .. Benjamin’s autism diagnosis and epilepsy, Samuel’s growth problems, ear problems .. the whole thing. He was there for us in a very tangible way.
Then Benjamin turned 5 and he realized his girls were going to be gone in less than 5 years and we got a letter that said “I’m leaving private practice, I’ve enjoyed being your doctor” (ours came with a personal hand written note that was quite nice).
So, I moved on to another Dr. Dr C and I hit it off and he and I would be friends in another setting. He was great, we got along, he was smart … he saw me through knee surgery, getting AFO braces, some pretty serious myasthenia crisis’ (that he helped with in conjunction with my neuro) and he was there … as gentle as could be with the eating disorder could no longer be ingored. He gently forced me into therapy. This doctor, I fully believe saved my life.
Then just 6 weeks after I got into therapy “I have enjoyed being your doctor, but I have to take care of my family.” They were moving to Texas to be near his wife’s family because they needed their support, one of their kids had been diagnosed with a disability. How could I begrudge him that?
The doctor who took over from him was a female. I’d historically not gotten along well with women, but he encouraged me to give her a try. I loved her. She found my lupus (which had been suspected for 10 years, but not found) but that’s another story. She encouraged me to get a breast reduction which I’d desperately wanted but assumed was ‘elective’ and wouldn’t be done with myasthenia. She then went to part time to spend more time with her nephews. Then she got pregnant,she SWORE to me she was coming back
yeah huh …any woman going part time to spend more time with nephews is not coming back after she gets her own little one in her arms (that took 4 years to get pregnant with).
The next one …went part time ..then quit to get married
The next one is great … but she recently went part time. ( we have gotten complex about this a long time ago. I think we wear out doctors).
We had a dermatologist ..from the time Samuel was 3 months old and the doctor found a ‘funkyish’ mole on my arm. He saw me, he saw Benjamin for his excema and Samuel he saw monthly for 6 years for treatment of warts that would not go away! (they did, but that is also another story)
Samuel turned 16 and Dr. W went to teach Medical School in Texas .. who can begrudge him?
I wrote all this to say … I’ve had a lot of doctors leave and I know the decision is never easy. There is usually a few moments of panic when there is a good relationship …then we wish them well and get to know the new one. The guidance and care they gave has never been forgotten and will always be appreciated.
Doctors lives change from time to time
The list goes on and on … and they have to leave … and you know what, it’s OK. We wish them well and use what we learned with them to help to build the relationship with a new one.
I wrote this because a friend, not my doctor, is moving on, and I can hear the pain in her writing over this obviously difficult decision. She will leave, she will be missed, but she will be remembered fondly by her patients and then they will use what they learned with her to help them in their new relationship with a new doctor.
Life changes and we all change with it.