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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Doc's

A doctor visit with Teale can be a challenge. She may not cooperate with the directions, she may explode at just the idea of walking into a doctors office. Simple tasks like taking her blood pressure, weight and height can take much negotiation. A doctor not giving Teale the time she needs to process what the doctor is asking her to do or a doctor touching her without fair warning, can take us to square one and the appointment may need to be abandoned and rescheduled. I go to appointments knowing we may not accomplish what we hope to. I have many, many memories of appointments gone bad. Teale and I  have been seeing doctors and much more than the average person, since before she was born. From that first ultrasound where the discovery was made that her stomach had not closed in utero, there have been many specialists in Teale's life. Doctors are people, there are good natured ones who click with Teale and there are ones that I wonder why they chose the profession they did. Luckily for Teale, we have two very special doctors in our life that have mostly managed Teale's care. Her pediatrician from birth was a great guy, he was bold, outspoken and caring beyond measure. His love of children was evident and his management of care extended to the whole family. He always made me feel like I was an important part of my children's team, even in the areas I had very little experience in. He valued parent's input and taught me advocacy from the start of my children's lives. So when he called me one day to tell me that he and his wife were moving out of state, my heart broke. I seriously wondered how I would ever replace Dr Matt? I even joked with Mark that maybe we should follow him to his new location. After getting over the heartache of his leaving us, we stuck with his recommendation and started working with his replacement. Dr Matt had told me he picked this young, smart, caring guy and he thought we would work well together. At first, I wasn't sure. I liked him well enough, but he was green and Dr Matt had been seasoned. My life was complicated medically for my daughter Teale. Dr Matt had been there through my pregnancy with Teale. He had been there at the horrific birth and knew the pain we had endured. He had watched Teale grow and seen the work we put into making her life all it could be. I just couldn't imagine someone new grasping what we had gone through in those first three years of Teale's life. But as life has a way of doing, it has all worked out. Dr Dave came into our life and his ways, although quite different from Dr Matt's, have grown on me. He is not nearly as in your face as Dr Matt was, he's gentle and kind. Dr Matt was rough and direct, but that is much how I am, so I appreciated his blunt honesty. Eleven years have passed, much like a blink of the eye and in those years Dr Dave has become my children's pediatrician and an intricate part of our team of medical support. We don't hang out together or have double dates with our spouses, but he is there for me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, much like family should be. I can text him when I'm worried and something is wrong with one of my kids and he will answer. We have built a trust and he knows I seldom overreact or pull him in unless I am truly concerned and rightfully so. He has stuck by us and given us hope in even the most hopeless times of our life. Dr Dave has managed all the doctors in Teale's life with professionalism and grace. He has calmed Mark and my fears, he has helped us find solace and he has prayed for our peace. Dr Dave has been more than just my children's pediatrician, he has been a dear friend. We work together well and our trust in each other is much like a marriage. We count on each other to put together the pieces my children's physical and emotional health. He is the type of person everyone looks up to, calm, caring, loyal, thoughtful and smart. I feel blessed to call him our children's pediatrician, not everyone finds someone who sticks by then in thick or thin, but Dr Dave has and for this alone, I am forever grateful.         ~to be continued~

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