Monday, 23 November 2015

Dear Doctor



Dear Doctor,

I don’t know if you’ll remember me, we met 13 years ago in your GP surgery. You were the first Health Care Professional that I had spoken to in the UK following my diagnosis in Paris. You had a kind face and you were friendly and welcoming... (cont) 



You introduced me to a nurse who would help you to help me, and together we would try to work out this messy and menacing illness called Type 1 Diabetes. We used to talk, though not for long, about this thing called insulin. I didn’t understand it, even weeks after being taught how to inject, but I didn’t know how to tell you that. I was young and nervous, you were confident and decisive. I was worried that I would sound silly, immature and like I couldn’t cope. You presumed I knew what it all meant, maybe you thought that someone else had told me first, but I was very much in the dark. I wish now that I hadn’t been so fearful, so apprehensive and stubborn; I wish that both of us had asked “do you understand?” but neither did. I assumed that one day I would be informed, you assumed from day one that I was knowledgeable. We were both wrong. Things didn’t work out between us and I moved to a different team, but I wasn’t fearful anymore about not understanding. Lack of knowledge had caused me to become fearless. 


Dear Doctor,

I don’t know if you’ll remember me but we met 6 years ago in the Emergency Eye Department. You noticed something that your colleague didn’t and for that I am very grateful. You reassured me that I would be taken care of and that I shouldn’t worry. I was alone, it was late and I began to cry. You held my hand as a nurse cannulated me. You told me that I would be admitted to a ward for further investigations and you made a promise that you would visit me once I had settled in. I didn’t expect to see you the next day, on a Saturday, but you stopped by to say hello. A few hours later you came back. You sat on my bed and told me that a scan had showed a shadow. Whatever that shadow was it was pressing on my brain and your team would need to investigate. You saw tears in my eyes and told me to be brave. I took a deep breath and stayed strong for what seemed like the first time in years. I wouldn't have been strong without you there. When we met again you explained the procedure. The thought of it scared me but there was no one else that I would have wanted to operate on me. I was very pleased to have met you.


Dear Doctor,

I don’t know if you’ll remember me but we met 2 years ago in Accident and Emergency. You were the person who was sat at the nurse’s station when I came in with high blood glucose, high ketones and vomiting. It wasn’t until an over hour later that we met, when you pushed yourself away from the desk to my bed on one of those backless seats with wheels. You didn’t even stand up to walk over to me. You had a clipboard in your hand and you put your feet up on the side of my bed, balancing the board on your thighs to write notes. You looked at me and said the words “so you’re my DKA?”. No. I was not your DKA. I was your patient, with a name that was written down in front of you and you didn’t have the decency to call me by it. You didn’t speak to me, but to my mother, as if I wasn’t there. You wheeled yourself back to the desk then stood, picked up your coffee cup and walked away. I was pleased to not see you again after that.


Dear Doctor,


I know you will remember me, I’m still under your care. I’m one of the patients who takes up far too much of your precious time, but you would never tell me that. You always smile, you always ask, you always go the extra mile. You are the kindest, most caring and supportive Doctor I have had the privilege of meeting. You understand what I’m saying when I can’t articulate it myself. You know my diabetes inside out; you know just what I need, what I fear, what I think and feel. I can’t rate you highly enough as you have changed me for the better. I talk about you so highly amongst my peers and with professionals too; the way you always have the right answer, it seems like magic to me, I wish I had that magic too. But often, as you know, diabetes can be tough. It gets too much, it’s unbearable at times, and when that happens I turn and run. I’m not running from you, I’m running from it. You know I’ll come back one day and I know that you’ll be there when I do. But now is not the right time. It’s me, it’s not you. 



Laura x 
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