Thursday, July 30, 2009
With all the recent talk about health care, I want to tell you about my visit to the doctor this week. It's a little longer post than usual, but I hope you'll have time to read it through.
I hate to go to the doctor. I waver between fear of over-reacting and fear of letting something get to the crisis point before addressing it. I carefully plan what I'm going to say so I don't forget anything; sometimes I write things down.
This week a couple of things were bothering me, so I bit the bullet and called for an appointment. I got my spiel down. I dreaded it.
Some back story: Shortly after graduating from college, I went to work in the billing department of Wake Radiology in Raleigh. There were six doctors; now there are sixty. Next door was a small internal medicine practice. These doctors were fairly fresh out of medical school. I chose one of them, William Dunlap, and thus began an almost thirty-five year relationship. For this, I am eternally grateful. And now, so you know why, back to my story.
Dr. Dunlap walked into the office and immediately started talking about the neighborhood where I live and where he grew up. For ten minutes we reminisced about the old Lake Boone, Glenwood Avenue when it was a two lane road, etc. Eventually he asked about why I was there, and because of our small talk I was totally at ease.
He suggested an x-ray for one of the problems and said he would call me that very afternoon with the results. Unheard of, isn't it? A doctor letting you know right away, not making you agonize for days on end. By the afternoon, I hadn't heard from him when the phone rang. "Mamie, I just wanted to let you know that I haven't heard anything. I didn't want you to worry that I was trying to keep something from you. I'm sure they'll call tomorrow. I'll let you know when I hear." And he did.
I'm not sure what health care reform will do to the medical care we receive in this country, but I do know that my doctor still believes in caring for his patients, giving them all the time they need, and has compassion like I have never seen in any other. I know he won't change. Thank you, Dr. Dunlap, for taking care of me.