Friday, July 25, 2008


I just had the most incredible experience.....going to the DOCTOR.

Now, there are exactly TWO people that enter into one's life that I feel it is crucial to have a good, strong, supportive relationship with. Your child? No. Your parent? No. Your spouse? Nope.

Your hairdresser and your doctor.

I have found an awesome girl to do my hair; she seems to actually pay attention to what I look like when I come in, what my personal style is and she listens and, get this, does EXACTLY what I want her to. Every. single. time.

I haven't been so lucky finding a doctor. In fact, I'm trying to think if I've EVER had a doctor I felt cared about me or my health and the answer is no, I don't think I have. I have had, though, my share of nightmare experiences, including my first mid-wife/ob-gyn, this older hippie woman in Oregon...who INSISTED that I have an amniocentesis because I was so "OLD" for a first time mother (at 35) that there was a "huge possibility that the baby would have serious health problems". So I dumped her ass. Nobody was going to stick a 12 inch needle into my stomach. Then there was the time last year, when I thought I'd found a cool, progressive woman's doctor: she was had traveled the world, is a tri-athlete and specializes in "active" women's health issues. Well, I waited (and I'm not exaggerating one bit) in that little room, shivering in one of those stupid open-backed gowns reading old issues of People magazine for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. She breezed in, did not say ONE WORD about being so late, performed the exam in record time, asked me if I had anything I wanted to talk to her about, didn't wait for an answer and then left. She was in the room for 8 minutes. Yes, I timed it. Needless to say, I'll never go back there again.

Well, a month or so ago I needed to find a doctor to examine me because I suspected I had bronchitis. I hoped to find a "general practice" doctor who could be our family doctor, for me, Anna and maybe even David. By complete fluke I called a random family-practice office and said that I hadn't ever been there before and that I wanted a female doctor. I went for my appointment without any hopes; it seems that doctors these days don't have time for their patients. Well, this doctor came in and sat down and talked to me (and listened) and asked EVERYTHING from my marital status to where I grew up to my family medical history, where I worked, etc. I figured she was just being polite.

Then this morning I had to make a last-minute appointment with her in order to get my prescription refilled. Not only did her office arrange to get me in right away, get this: she came in at the appointed time, greeted me by name, asked about my daughter and partner BY NAME and proceeded to tell me how she had been so impressed by what I'd told her last time about the relationship I now have with my ex-husband and what a great an example we are setting for our daughter. Not only did she remember me, she remembered my history, my story. She actually seems to care about her patients.

As if that weren't enough, she mentioned, as we were wrapping things up, that she will be gone the entire month of August. I asked if she was going to do something fun and she grinned and said "Yes! We're going to India to spend a month providing care in a remote village in the mountains!" I have long been fascinated with India, it's culture, it's bizarre caste system and it's beautiful, strong people. It started many years ago when I read a book that, to this day, haunts me in so many ways and is one of my all-time favorite books. So I asked her, thinking I'd be introducing her to a new book she could read before she went, if she had ever heard of a book called "A Fine Balance". She stopped dead in her tracks and said "Oh my gosh, YES! That book changed my life! That book is why I am going to India!"

Now, the only other person I've ever met (and remember, I owned a book store so I talk books with everyone I meet) who has read that book is David (which I took was a sign).

She could NOT believe I'd read it and said "I've never met anyone who has read that book, ever!"

Isn't that amazing? I think I've just found my new doctor for life.


jpogue said...

I think you've actually found your soulmate! Actually, there's nothing better than having a doctor like that. Dr. Krueger was my doc who was just like that. I loved him.

I now go to a nurse practioner in a doctor's office because they can, and do, do everything a doctor does, but they seem to listen better and actually pay attention. I've been real happy with the one I'm seeing now.

Dee said...

Wow, you have found one in a million, Kate. A DOCTOR WHO CARES.It is a profound miracle that she remembered all about you and was actually interested. A keeper !!!!!!!!
I feel rather sorry for the author of that book. Apparently only three people have read it.

JACKI said...

Isnt it great when you find your "dr. soul mate"?! Dr. Hodges (my obgyn) is just like that. I freakishly LOVE HIM!!! I know if it werent for him, I probably wouldnt have gotten through my 6 weeks of hospital bedrest. He visited me every single day. I've had great laughs with him, I've had great cries with him and we've even enjoyed a few good episodes of Man vs. Wild together.