March 6, 2017
I remember the first time Dr. P gave me a hug. I had been his patient for just over 2 years, and had seen him mainly to get refills for my thyroid medicine, for ongoing issues after childbirth, and a few sinus infections. That day through I was really, really sick. It was the start of the year that I would be continually ill, catching everything that went around, and then developing a sinus infection on top of it. My immune system was nonexistent that year, and it only started to get better once I was diagnosed with Addison’s disease.
Dr P had finished examining me for my main complaints, throat and sinus, when I mentioned that I couldn’t hear out of one of my ears. A quick check and He informed me that I had a sinus infection, strep throat, and ear infections in both of my ears. The relief I feel was likely palpable. I was happy to have my suffering validated. I wasn’t a wimp, I couldn’t have pushed through it. I was truly, legitimately sick and exhausted. He wrote me a prescription for strong antibiotics with instructions to go back in three days if I wasn’t feeling better.
Then he smiled at me, a beautiful sympathetic smile with no hint of condescension. He put his arms around me and hugged gently, just long enough for me to feel his warmth and kindness. I felt supported and somehow stronger and better. This is how I feel every time I leave his office.
Today I went in to ask for changes to the referral he made for me to a rheumatologist, now that the gynaecologist said I have a connective tissue disorder, possibly ehlros Danlos syndrome (EDS). I had made some phone calls and learned that the wait for the rheumatologist in my city was 2-3 years, but one 2 1/2 hours away was 1-3 months. I finished explaining what I wanted and he pulled out his cell phone, called the local rheumatologists office and made my case for me. He called me a “lovely girl”, with multiple health issues.
My 2-3 year wait is now reduced to 3 months.
I hugged him before I left and told him what I’ve told him many times before: he’s my rock, and he’ll never know what he does for me. I can never thank him enough.