I just returned from visiting with my doctor whom I’ve had for over thirty years. We moved to a new city two years ago and I was finding it difficult to travel 45 minutes to 1 hour for an appointment. As he is reaching his golden years of his practice and is beginning to slow down, which means that booking an appointment meant waiting for about 3 weeks? That’s no longer feasible. I have been working at getting a new doctor in town and finally I was able to secure one. They gave me the form which was to be faxed to my old doctor requesting my records.
I just couldn’t do that, I needed to see him face-to-face and tell him that I was moving on. That is what I did today. What a sad task it was. When I told him, his expression seemed to change, he sat back and was quiet, and then I told him that I didn’t want to talk about it or I would cry. He reassured me that I was doing the right thing and having a doctor close by was the right decision.
We talked for a bit about the first time we met in the Emergency department of the local hospital. He was so young and just starting his practice. Oh my have the years flown by. He told me that I was considered part of his family and if I ever needed him, he would always be there for me.
I asked him for a hug and it was a long warm hug and it made my tears flow. I whisper to him “you’ve been a great doctor” and he returned the whisper and said “you are good person”.
It is hard saying good-bye to someone who you have grown to love, trust and whom has been there providing you the ultimate in personal care and service.
As I left the office and said good-bye to the receptionist, which I have known for about 15 years, the tears continued to flow. Why was I so emotional about this decision? Then as I thought back on our relationship, I realized he was there when my son came into my life, while I cared for and eventually watched my mother and father die. He had ensured my husband’s health had been cared for. He was there with open arms welcoming my daughter-in-law and to give my granddaughter her first shots.
He has been with me through over a dozen operations and been my advisor, my confidant, and my friend. It is hard to say good-bye to someone you have watched grow old with you. We often teased each other about our eye sight going, our pot bellies growing and our hair changing colour before our eyes. We shared laughs, tears, concerns and vacation stories. He was very special to me in so many ways.
Good-bye my friend, thank you for your years of service and devotion to my every need. I will miss you.
Your loving patient,