Thank you for recognizing I wasn’t ok.
I’m really good at hiding it. Almost flawlessly at times. You know that.
Today, even through my mask, you knew I wasn’t.
I could barely spit out the words, “I’m very…” (deep breath, don’t cry) “…triggered coming here this time of year.”
And without hesitation you replied, “tell me about Charlie.”
You know, that he is my saving grace. Even if he is the reason I’m not ok. He’s also the thing that makes me better.
I flawlessly rattled off the last several months of events. You turned to your medical student and referring to me said, “Shelby is one of my most sophisticated parents, as you can tell.”
Thank you. Thank you for reminding me that the person who broke down repeatedly on the drive and pulled into the parking ramp sobbing is a sophisticated parent.
You continued your exam. We went over head to toe of my handsome, curly haired boy. We reviewed medical records from other providers. I told you I already knew where this was all headed, but I’d play along. You laughed, because you know I’m right.
We devised future, strategic treatment plans. You asked me for my input. We discussed the new providers replacing some of our most beloved. You explained things medically and on my level to answer my questions. I love all of this about appointments with you.
Just as you were getting ready to depart. You looked me in the eye and asked if I’d like a hug. And the me inside that despises hugs kind of jumped for joy that you had caught on.
Thank you. Thank you for empathizing on a level that I don’t often feel. I heard your gentle sob. I felt your deep breath. I embraced your compassion full heartedly.
Today, you were more then my son’s medical specialist. Today you demonstrated what Patient and Family Centered Care is. You did it beautifully.
And as you closed the door you added, “I’m not going anywhere.” How wonderfully fortunate we are for that.