Too often do blogs like mine focus on the bad doctors. Ranting can be helpful and empowering when used to encourage others to stand up for their health, and disaster stories are always funner to tell than the procedures and doctors visits that go smoothly.
But let’s take a second to bask in some positivity. As much as a journey through chronic illness may pit us against some medical professionals, I think we all can admit that we’d be nowhere without the doctors and nurses who have done no harm and, in fact, did a bit of good as well.
1. My GP, Dr. Oliver.
I first met him when I was about 17, and I was mortified because he was my mom’s gynocologist and there’s no teen in the universe who’s excited to go to their first OBGYN appointment. A few months after our initial visit, I woke up in intense pain from cramps and begged to be taken to the ER – you know the story. Mom called him and though he misdiagnosed over the phone, once I had a proper appointment he was quick to spot endometriosis as the culprit. He has operated on me three times and congratulated me when I got married, bought a house, and made the occasional trip to Disney Parks. He’s a huge Disney fan. And he’s even become very chummy with my husband, as they both sing in choir at their churches.
Recently, when PCOS began to rear it’s ugly head, Dr. Oliver sent me away to a fertility specialist – after he had tried everything he could of course. I asked if he was firing me – borrowing the term from so many health blogs where doctors have given up on their patients. He smiled and said no, he was promoting me.
Sweet, right? He’s a quirky funny sweet guy, and he’s taken great care of me.
2. My fertility specialist, Dr. Lawrence.
I’ve only been seeing her for a few months but we were fast friends. She is a doctor who not only treats PCOS, but who has it herself. She knows everything about it – the medical side and the living with it side. She’s funny and talks fast. And at the end of every appointment, she stops everything and asks if I have any questions. If I quickly respond with no, she asks if I’m sure. If I do have questions, she answers them and then checks again before she leaves – “any more questions?” She gives me time to think about it and I never feel rushed. I’ve never left her office going “ahh, I didn’t ask about ___!”
3. My dentist, Dr. Watson.
Waaaaay back when I started this blog, I almost died because of a crazy tooth infection. Dr. Watson was amazing through all of that. I was living out of town then and couldn’t always come in quickly, but he gave me his personal cell number so I could call or text anytime – and it was this open line of communication that got me in oral surgery just in time to not die.
4. My oral surgeon – he has a distinctive name so I don’t want to list it here like the others, which sound made up even though I promise they’re not. So we’ll call him Dr. McCutiePants because he’s dreamy.
Yeah that’s right, I went with Oliver Wood. Full disclosure: the laughing gas and relaxy meds may have contributed to my perception of his attractiveness. Anyway he was awesome because he saved my life and also literally dropped everything to take me in. He gave me warm blankets and used the children’s needles for the initial IV because I was distressed about it. At the time I was trying to get certified as a SCUBA diver and was pretty resigned that I wouldn’t be able to do it with the rest of my class – but Dr. McCutiePants was a SCUBA diver himself and made sure I was equipped to carry on.
Also, he was really cute. And he kept on caressing my face to make sure my throat wasn’t swelling shut, and I liked that.
5. About a million nurses.
I’ve had awful nurses of course but there are much more good ones than bad. There was Elsa, who took care of me during my last surgery. There’s an amazing guy in the blood lab at my hospital who used to work at Disney World, so he’s got that superpower where he knows exactly what will make you smile and not punch him while he draws blood. There’s a little old lady at my dentist’s office who would come in just to hold my hand if my husband couldn’t be there for all the million procedures I had to do in my year of teeth-hell.
6. Texas Flag Guy.
I truly regret not knowing his name. He was my anesthesiologist for my last surgery and the first anesthesiologist I’ve ever had that I didn’t get the “mad scientist” vibe from. Whoever I was supposed to have couldn’t come in that morning, so there was Texas Flag Guy with a Texas flag on his head. You know, in surgery they have to cover their hair? He decided to go the awesome route and tie the Lone Star around his head. But more than that, he was extremely kind and fatherly. I was extremely frightened and the pre-surgery me is just the worst. I have to deal with a creepy IV and go into creepy rooms and get myself up on creepy tables and it turns me into a gigantic baby. But Texas Flag Guy was a gigantic daddy type fellow, so he was totally ready for it. Just before I went under, I remember him saying something to me, but I don’t quite remember what. It felt like something along the lines of “I’m right here.” And it made me feel better.
I know I’m leaving out a ton of people, but like I said, the bad times are often more vivid memories than the good.
What are the best experiences you’ve had with doctors or nurses? Tell me about it in the comments below! Too long winded to sum it up in a comment? I know I am! So write your own blog post if you want! Be sure to send me a link!
And remember to dwell on the positives every now and again.