14 August 2009

Recent goings on

I got a haircut a few weeks ago. I went to my hair stylist Maria and said, "My hair is dark and thick and long and hot. Do something." She said, "What do you have in mind?" I said, "I don't know. Whatever you want. Shave it if you want to." She looked at it and said, "Hmmm. How about I give you a sexy, sassy hair cut and hook you up for the summer?" I said, "Let's do it!" And this was the result:

Today was my last appointment with Mira, the Wonder Doctor. And, as it so happened, I was her last patient in Philadelphia. I've been her patient for seven years. Because of my myriad health issues, I generally see her every two to three months. Of course, sometimes we saw each other between planned appointments and often phone calls flew back and forth. My POINT, is that we had a pretty deep doctor-patient relationship.

This is a doctor who, when I was once unemployed and without heath insurance, took my phone calls about an issue that was troubling me, researched some new treatments online, printed out her research, highlighted the relevant parts, made marginalia explaining the parts she thought I might not understand, and sent me a prescription for what she wanted me to try.

This is a doctor who got to know me, my body, and my health issues well enough that I could call her and say, "Mira... something's just ... not right. I just don't feel good." And she'd help me figure out what was wrong and what we'd do about it.

This is a doctor who I could call and say that I was really sick. And if she asked what my symptoms were, I could say, "Um... I know it would help you if I could tell you what's wrong with me, but I'm at work," and she'd happily just start guessing at various embarrassing symptoms until she hit the right one.

This is a doctor who, when she gave me what I felt was an embarrassing diagnosis, hugged me, held me hand, and let me have the exam room for as long as I wanted it. Later, she happened to run into me on the sidewalk (she had gone to pick up her daughter from daycare and was walking back to the office), introduced me to her daughter, squeezed my hand, and told me I'd be fine.

So, really. How could I not love this woman? How could I not want her to be my doctor forever and ever? So when she announced that she was leaving, maybe now you understand a little more why it was SOOO painful.

She's seen me through my Hashimoto's diagnosis, my GI issues, and two hospitalisations for suicidal ideation. She's seen me evolve from identifying as straight to a lesbian, back to straight, then a lesbian, and then finally figuring out that hey - there's a thing called bisexuality. She saw me wander aimlessly through life as an office manager, an administrative assistant, and a legal secretary before I finally decided to apply for an MPH.. and got in, then graduated. And got a job (with a bit of advice from her). In the meantime, I saw her have a baby girl named Hazel who is Very Serious. And then a second girl named Ruby who tends to be Very Creative. Over the years, we've passed books between each other (I turned her onto Jennifer Weiner; she turned me onto Mira Nair).

ANYWAY... I decided I couldn't just see her off to the wild otherwise known as Boston. I had to give her something. I headed off to my favourite LYS, Loop, on South Street. With Kathy's help, I decided to do a scarf and Fetching. I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Denim. The scarf is the Turkish Stitch Scarf.

When she saw then, she hugged me, and we cried. I told her that I had tried to write her a card, but I couldn't. I was usually pretty good with words, but I couldn't come up with a way to tell her HOW much she'd meant to me and HOW much she'd taught me throughout the years. She told me that she'd learned a lot from me, too, and that she'd miss the intellectual discussions we'd had about medicine philosophy and the intersection of medicine and politics. She said that she would have remembered me anyway, but with these she would definitely never forget me.

There was a funny moment during the actual appointment when she asked how the new medication she'd put me on for my constant headache was working out. I told her it was "a miracle drug." The headache that I've had for as long as I can remember that literally NEVER goes away is still there but is much less painful on average. She said, "Holy shit, and it only took me seven years to come up with this idea." But she did encourage me to remember that just because I've adjusted to living with the pain every day doesn't mean that I HAVE to. But it was hysterically funny to hear her actually say "Holy shit." It was nice when Mira mentioned that the past two weeks were nice because she'd picked and choosen who she saw and she'd basically done a "best of."

Good times.

Another funny moment. When I walked in, the receptionist Sheila said, "I should have KNOWN you weren't going to let this day go by without a visit." I said, "Of course not, Sheila." She said, "Do NOT cry. No crying today." I said, "Sheila, you said that last time, and it didn't work." Then she said, "And no more gifts for her. Any other gifts and she'll need to rent a truck to get home." I said, "Yeah... um... that ship has already sailed, too." Later, I told Mira what Sheila said about renting a truck to get home and she winked and said, "But I can pick and choose what I take home." LOL


  1. *hugs*

    Also your hair is fantastically cute. :)

  2. Love the hair! The gifts are awesome. What wonderful colors for her. And she really sounds like a fabulous Doctor. I wish you could keep her.

  3. I forgot to tell you yesterday that your hair looked great! It does. :)