My comment elicits smiles from my medical caregivers. They know exactly what I mean.
I admire the heck out of all of them. I’m extremely grateful for their dedication and commitment.
Almost as far back as I can remember, I’ve been involved in the medical community – on the receiving end. No one had any way of knowing it would be a life-long relationship oh-those-40-years ago.
As a seven-year-old diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, my parents and I were often told throughout those early years that I would likely grow out of JRA. It wasn’t to be.
While I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, least of all my little seven-year-old self, I have to admit that I’ve learned so much from my experiences associated with JRA that I can’t imagine who I’d have become without it.
Has it sharpened my empathy for other people’s struggles? Check.
Has it caused me to slow down and reflect when I might not have otherwise? Check. Check.
Has it required that I either draw inward in despair or look outward in gratitude? Check. Check. Check.
It’s not been until more recent years that I’ve come to fully appreciate the medical care I’ve received. But it’s more than that. It’s not solely the care – though that’s certainly the most obvious part of it. It’s also about appreciating the people providing the care.
It’s YOU. You who cared enough to choose this profession. You who endured rigorous education and training to realize your goal. You who push through workplace and home challenges so you can continue to provide the care you set out to provide.
Many of you go above and beyond the norm, and the norm itself is simply amazing. For instance, my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Douglas Dennis, and PA, Jim Boyle, returned last week from a week-long missions trip to provide complimentary care in third world countries. They led a group of 65 other professionals who also give of themselves twice yearly to help patients walk – patients who they may never see again.
I’m privileged to have met and been treated by tremendously talented, encouraging, and giving healthcare professionals. They inspire me. YOU inspire me. You keep me going in ways beyond physical health. You are among the many untold StickPeople in my life. You help me keep going and Stick to it – no matter what!
In all, realize this: you are not one person treating one patient at a time in a never-ending mill of patients. Rather, you are leaving a legacy. You are one of many professionals playing a part in your patient’s story, and the role you play adds beautifully to the medical tapestry of your patient’s life. Speaking on behalf of your patients, we’re humbled and thankful. Thank you for all you’ve done, do and will do. You are a StickPerson extraordinaire.
Nonetheless, I’m all for limited exposure to you and your office. Don’t take it personally.
This article appeared originally in The Journal of Nursing Jocularity. Published on IDA with permission.