Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roller Coaster

by Jen Flemming on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 6:39am
I was hit hard recently with the news that my doctor, Dr. Nancy Frohloff, died suddenly.  We were right in the middle of dealing with some health questions together and she and I had an amazing talk about my concerns with her staff and trying to get through to her.  She told me that she was my doctor and unless I was calling after 3 on a given day when it was too late for them to fit me in , she would see me, and that her staff was overwhelmed, that it would get worse before it got better, and that is was necessary and okay for me to say I had to see her.  She never once put them down, but validated how I felt and let me know I had every right to push myself on them.

Then we shook hands and I walked out.  That was it.  I will never see her again.  Granted it is not as painful as losing my own family member, but it is a huge loss.  I have not moved forward on my own health issues because I feel absolutely lost in the system without her.  She was my advocate. She was going to make the calls and push for the information that I, as the patient, really feel I should not have to push for.  I have sat here for 2 months  and done nothing toward getting the information and getting a new doctor.  I don't even know where to start.  Not only that, but making those calls and getting a new doctor means I have said goodbye to her and moved on.  It sound ridiculous, but I don't want to move on...I definitely cannot imagine going back to that office and sitting with someone else.

There are so many losses in our lives....some little and some big.  Some people look at it as life is good and then a loss occurs and life is bad.   I call it the roller coaster of life.   Imagine yourself on a rollercoaster and you are going up....most of the people have been on a rollercoaster before and know what is about to happen....they get ready in whatever way works for them...many put hands up and enjoy the ride, some hide their eyes, and if you are Jen Lotane you duck (according to all our disney pictures) because you somehow believe your head is about to be cut off from anything the rollercoaster may go under!  (I digress.)  You ride that ride and your body goes crazy and then....it slows and you start going up again...you have time to breathe, get relaxed again, and get ready for it to happen all over again.

I am not saying we should live our lives waiting for the bad.  But we should not be so caught of guard when something bad happens.   We should have strategies of how we will deal with sickness and death.  We should work in the happy times on surrounding ourselves with positive, caring people who will stick around while we ride the coaster together.   When something bad happens like your doctor dying....it is okay to give yourself 2 months to catch your breath...and then, if you are lucky, someone will come along who gently pushes. I got the call yesterday from her office. "Hi, I am calling because we still have Nancy Frohloff listed as your primary care doctor.  I would like to offer you help in finding a new doctor."  And so today, I will take the time to catch my breath and I will call the number that I have memorized and I will tell them I will accept their help.

Roller coasters can be terrifying, but who wants to miss the ride?

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