Friday, March 25, 2011

In praise of good doctors

For those who are regular readers of this, or of Weighty Matters, you know the frustration that I have experienced in the last 18 months or so with the medical profession -- both for myself and my mother (especially). But today, I have mostly very high praise for the doctors who are worthy of their calling, and who make medical visits and checkups almost a joy.

Yesterday was my dental checkup. Doc G is phenomenal. I don't get freaked out by dental visits, because Lord knows, I have spent quite a number of times with my rear in a dental chair. Dr W was our pediatric dentist, then Dr B when we got too old for Dr W, and when Dr. B closed his practice, we started with Doc G. Just a gem! The nice thing is that Doc G is one of those dentists that puts you at ease. He has a fantastic staff who is just as caring and supportive as he is. I have to go back for an overlay due to a chipping of a tooth that's already mostly filling material anyway. Oh boy.... but honestly, that doesn't even bother me.

Dr. E is another great doctor, and I've been a patient for about 14 years now (wow - really? Ha....) He is a kind, gentle person to whom I owe an awful lot. He is the doctor who recommended that I use Weight Watchers to lose weight. It was on his scale that I saw a horrible fact unfold before my eyes, and instead of berating me... which he isn't the type to do anyway... he reached out and told me he believed in me and in my abilities to see the process through. I think that was a key factor in me finally deciding a few weeks later that perhaps yes, he was right and I needed that extra help to make it work.

Dr. Y is a fantastic surgeon who was more than incredibly kind to me in performing my cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)... yeah, I'm gonna use the 10-dollar word because I can! (HAAA) No, really, when I went in through the ER not knowing if I was going to make it through this attack (even though I'd survived my others), he was there to watch over me, to make sure that they had everything in place, and was prepared to do whatever it took. And here's the thing for which I will forever treasure him: he prayed for me and with me before we ever entered the OR. He paused at the door, asked me if I minded, and through tears I said, "Oh, God no! Please! Always!" He later went out, told my parents exactly what had transpired, and prayed with them a prayer of thanksgiving for a successful operation. Now THAT is a doctor who cares.

Just so happens that today, I had my checkup with Dr. E. He listened to my concerns, explained why he was prescribing what he was going to, how it would improve the situation, gave me orders for some work to be done, and listened as I explained about a cyst on my shoulder. Keep in mind, shoulders don't usually come into play with his particular specialty. But he took one look at the cyst, heard how my family physician didn't seem to think it was worth looking further into, and said, "Oh, no, let me call a friend of mine over at GHS, he's Dr. Y...."

My face broke into a huge smile as I said, "He's the doctor who removed my gallbladder! I think the world of him!" I relayed the story about the prayer prior to operating, and he said, "Yes, that would be him, and he is top-notch both professionally and personally. But you know that already."

I see him Monday. Hopefully he'll remove the cyst in the office, we'll be over and done and WHEW! As Dr. E said, "Well, I can assure you that it's definitely not 'cosmetic' so I hope your insurance will do the right thing." Me too.

I have rarely had a doctor's visit that had good tears mixed with laughter, and a level of caring and concern that was this memorable. The last two days have been reminders that there is still nobility in the medical field, if you just look in the right places.

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