Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

In praise of strong, brilliant women (A Sunday Blessing)

Who among us can honestly say we love our doctors?

Well, let me step up and say, I do. I especially love my two two women doctors, Lee Edwards and Catherine Robets.

Lee is a Ph.D. -- my shrink -- and Catie (Katie? Sorry if I mess up the first letter) is an MD -- my internist. When I finally leave Milledgeville for a full time life with my husband in Tampa (or wherever) I will make special trips back to see them, if they'll still have me. I will never, ever find better doctors.

They're amazing. I sing their praises. I am blessed to have them in my life. They are the eptiome of precision health care.

I went to both of these woman about the same time --around the year 2000. I finally got in as one of Lee's patients when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and arthritis at the age of 43. She has seen me through some real trauma and pain -- physical and mental -- and has been there whenever I have needed her. She's a wonderful woman, wife, mom and grandma to a new beautiful little boy. She lives on a farm around the corner from me and loves the outdoors and her horses. She is a little bit older than me, and I so look up to her. I can't tell you how much I admire her as a person.

Catie, well, she inherited me when Earl Berman left town. I am sad about the circumstances he left town under, but not sad that he left. I was about to switch doctors. Catie was about 14 then (fresh into practice after all that residency stuff in Savanah) and she and her husband, Reed (Jeffrey's doctor) were the cute new doctor couple in town. They've made quite an impact on the medical community here. They're MUCH loved around here. They're still the cute doctor couple in town, with two adorable kids. She said the other day she finds me amusing. I didn't take that as an insult. It's nice to go to a doctor who likes to see you come in the door.

Let me talk about the main reason I admire these medical professionals so much: They listen to me and trust me. That's not always easy and is a great skill both share. They know when to push, when to laugh, and when to hug.

There are two examples I have that have made a tremendous impact on me:

When I went to see Lee the day after I asked my ex for a divorce, she asked me point blank if I was sure. I said yes. So she said, very simply, then I'll support you in your decision. And she did. Probably one thing that has meant the most to me is that she came to my wedding -- and the party afterward. She, more than anyone, knew how desperately miserable I was in my first marriage, and how hard I'd worked to find the happiness and love I share with my Randy. I know she has to have a line between doctor and patient, but one reason I love her so much is because she knows when it's ok for us to be friends. The look on her face in the wedding pictures and videos I have is one of pure joy. I am proud she was there to share it with me.

And Catie, well, she takes me seriously, even though that's not an easy task. I'm an obese woman with type II diabetes, arthritis, gluten intolerance and God knows what else. I'm a little tiny bit of an alarmist, but I'm not a hypochondriac. I am about 90 percent on diagnosis. If I call Vicky, her nurse, and say, "I have bronchitis," I always do. Instead of looking at the outside, she listens to me. She trusts my judgment of ME. My favorite example came, well, twice. Once was when I called her office and told Suzy, her nurse then, that I thought I was blowing my gall bladder. Within an hour I had a call that said they'd made me an appoint with Dr. Harinder Brar, and I should go straight there. (P.S. love him too.) The next morning, I had surgery. The second time came even more suspiciously. I was presenting the symptoms of appendicits, and she believed me...even though my appendix was not distended or ruptured. She sent in me for more tests, and I ran into Dr. Brar who worked with her on the diagnosis. Turns out it never presented classicly, as they say on Grey's Anatomy, but when the path report came back, I had early acute appendicitis.

I've been having a crisis of confidence about another of my long-standing doctors, and it was Catie (OK, I admit it, I always call her Dr. Catie) who gently encouraged me that it was OK to seek a second opinion on a recent medical change the first doctor has ignored. I know, if this latest medical....what to call it? A scare? A crisis? is worse than it looks (and I am very worried it is, and I suspect that she is too. I just get that feeling) that she (and her wonderful nurse Vickie) will be there for me AND with me if I have to go through any weird stuff.

And so will Lee. She and I talked at length about this need to change doctors, and she was, again, supportive of me. She knows I'm apprehensive about this latest diagnosis. And she is there for me.

Do you love your doctor? If you don't have a Lee Edwards or Catherine Roberts in your life, I suggest you go find them. You deserve it. My life is more complete because of their presence, and I thank God every day for them. They are a blessing on Monday to Saturday, not just this one Sunday.

Much love, and happy Sunday!

P.S. Jess, I love you to death. Thanks for being there for me. YOUR Sunday is coming.


The Petersons said...

Carter, I know what you mean about Doctors. I had my favorite GYN in Macon, but when I moved to MS, I had to find a new one. When I was in the process of having a miscarriage, the new doc. in Hattiesburg was not supportive or understanding. I thought I'd never find another favorite doctor. Then I moved to Rome and found Dr. Raymond Jarvis! He was the best OB/GYN and made me feel like all of my problems were normal. I told him my medical history and he was very supportive of me and my concerns! Plus, he induced me after being 1 week late and didn't make me wait any longer! I only wish Dr. Jarvis was more than an OB/GYN.

It sounds so weird to speak of my GYN like this...but even Jason liked him. He said, "If I ignore what he is doing to you, I could go for a beer with him...then I remember that he is your GYN."

Ornery's Wife said...

I have a Naturopathic doctor that I always call first. She has restored my health and given me a sound plan for living healthy. I have a Chiropractic physician that keeps me moving and almost pain free. I have a D.O. that I go to if one of the others tell me I need to for tests. He is a really nice, Godly man who prays with me and works well with the alternative route I have taken for my health care management, but after years of "abuse" in the medical realm, I will only go if I have exhausted every other option. It works for me!

Carrie said...

I hope everything went well ging!!! We're praying for you!!

Debbie Rivers said...

I am trying to find Lee Edwards. Do you have contact info? I have been referred to her by Lee Ann Nelson but the number is no longer in service.

Thanks for any help