Wednesday, April 4, 2012
That guy was just crazy!
Boy she totally misunderstood me!
I could have done better!
Patients have left me for all sorts of reasons. Anything form my age, to my demeanor. Once a woman left my practice because her physical therapist didn't agree with my my diagnosis of coronary artery disease. This was a few weeks after her first heart attack.
I usually take these loses in stride. You can't please everyone after all. But I can't say it doesn't bother me. I question myself each and every time.
Sometimes the transition is more ominous. A relationship starts out intense and then suddenly disappears. Often it is only months later that I become aware of the absence. An errant pharmacy request for a medicine refill reminds me that I haven't seen a certain someone in quite along time.
With sadness, I realize that I have become a victim of the fade away. Unhappy with my services, I was dumped without even the kindness of a Dear John letter.
And as I sit at my desk and stare at the chart on the computer screen, I contemplate calling. Do I dispute the end of the relationship like a castaway lover? Or do I walk away with my tail between my legs?
Usually, I have my staff contact the patient and offer to forward the medical records. Experience has taught me that confronting the situation myself only leads to awkwardness and apologies.
When I was younger, I so badly wanted to learn from such experiences. But now, I no longer have the taste for hearing how I seemed distracted that day (I was dealing with a crises), or how I took too many calls from the ICU while I was in the examining room.
Furthermore, I admit that I am often not at my best. Some days I am cold, or distracted, or downright curmudgeonly. I still haven't mastered the trick of being open, attentive, and unhurried all the time.
Yet I do mourn these loses. Often more than the deaths. Surrendering to disease is about inevitability.
This, is about character.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 2:09 PM