I know most of the Thankful posts were written in November, and rightfully so. But I am joining the trend late and celebrating Thanksgiving in December. This months always seems to bring about a lot of personal reflection and this year I am particularly thankful for a husband who is a "helper". He helps so many people in so many ways. The most obvious is his patients, but I'm not writing about them. I am writing about the people outside of the hospital.
This past year I have had a friend with a brain tumor, another with major back surgery and a cousin with adult onset seizures. All people I love and people that needed some reassurance and someone to ask the questions they forgot to ask their doctor.
The first was my friend that I meet during residency at the gym of all places. We were in the same Zumba class when I used to shake my tail feathers. We would dance, and laugh, and because we weren't done talking would go and walk on the treadmill until one of us HAD to leave. She was always so happy and just cheerful perpetually. No wonder I liked being around her.
She was pregnant and had her baby just after we left residency. Shortly thereafter, she developed a fast growing tumor that was causing problems with vision, tactile sensations, and memory loss. Her baby was only a few months old. The tumor needed to be removed and she was terrified. Her husband called and wanted to talk about the surgeons in the area who could perform it, and what the success rates would likely be. Because my husband knew the surgeons in the area he was able to get them to the best one for her type of tumor. He was able to look at her MRI and explain things in a way our friends understood, outside of a hospital setting. Because of his relationship with the hospital he was able to talk with the surgeon after surgery and look at the final MRI's. Our friends needed to hear things from someone they knew and trusted. Our friends needed reassurance that everything was going to be alright and coming from a friend they believed it. She has made a full recovery.
Since then there have been others, big and small who have needed some reassurance from someone that they know (or at least knows me - who does a doctor really know). I've always said I hope to never need the services that my husband provide, but I am so thankfully he is able to provide this service to my friends and family and that I get to be the link that connects them.
As I thought about this over the week, I realized that everyone should have a friend who is a doctor (or spouse of one). Unless they are going to be "that" kind of friend, you know the ones.