Day 5: Dear Doctor

*Thanks to my friend Henry Petty for serving as Day 5’s writer during my Dear Gratitude project!*

404838_10200636179807744_1229644121_nSome will write letters about being thankful for parents, loved ones, moms, dads, clergy, what have you.  My letter of thanks is not to those types of people; this is a letter of thanks to the healthcare providers in my life.

These people don’t even require my thanks.  They have told me this point blank, and when I try thanking them for what they do, they tell me, “I don’t require any ‘thanks’– it’s my job.”  Outside of paying my co-payment/co-insurance/deductible, it just doesn’t seem like it’s enough.  And with the contracted rates they have with insurance companies, it DEFINITELY isn’t enough for what they do, and especially what they have done for me.

I have regular visits to my nurse practitioner, and through the years we have really grown closer.  I would even venture to call her a friend.  I’ve gone in with a bad knee after a run, and we will get to talking about how my financial portfolio is looking (she recently graduated from the Dave Ramsey financial classes), or how I’m managing stress at work.  We hug, and they’re the best hugs.  This is why I want to enter the field as a nurse practitioner or physicians’ assistant because they are more in tune with a patient’s long-term care than a regular M.D. who visits them for a few minutes then moves on to the next patient.

A sleep study doctor went over my sleep study results, and then he launched into a monologue about Zig Ziglar and how he teaches about looking at oneself in the mirror while repeating incantations to boost self-esteem–certainly nothing he learned in Medical School.  However, he still was compelled to teach me this.

My regular nurse practitioner has guided me through some tough times in my life. We have laughed and shed tears together. She has given me tough love tips, and she has guided me in a way that has helped me grow stronger internally and become a more confident man.  All the while, she has also managed my blood pressure down to a manageable number.

I recall a time I had come in for some lower back pain, and she told me the way I had been speaking it felt like chewing on tin foil, at how tensed up I was, and asked me what was wrong.  This wasn’t part of her “patient checkup.” This was something she noticed on the metaphysical side.  We talked for the next 30 minutes about life’s issues, and I worked through it.  And I got an Rx for ibuprofen for my back.

I am thankful to her for empowering me to be a better man.  I’m also thankful to have the means in order to seek care and take better care of myself, something I did not have the luxury or access to in my 20’s.

These people in the medical field are those we get to know through our lives.  Maybe it’s short-term, long enough to take care of that nagging cold, or maybe it’s long-term care.  But they are there for us, and I am truly grateful for their service.  These people really DO care for us in a much deeper way than an x-ray or lab work.  Believe that.

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