I went to an event. It was the dedication party for the shiny new Breast Center at my hospital. I am amazed to find that I have a hospital. It’s mine. I never did before. The boys were born in the very first hospital in the US. Seth worked at a very prestigious hospital back in Philly. But, here I am, invited to ribbon cuttings, hugging and kissing the doctors, other patients, the valet. It’s my hospital.
On my way up to the dedication party, I was in my usual routine of juggling. Show a quick condo, make sure the contract was emailed, apply mascara at stop light. Check email at stop light.
“Joanna, please call me before you leave for the event”
I called the Development office to see what last minute change was being made. My contact/friend had already left for the party.
After the valet bear hugged me, I made my way up to the crowd. The woman who had emailed me earlier, stopped me at the edge.
“I wanted you to hear this before you arrived. (I braced myself. Nothing good starts with that sentence) Dr. P has not renewed her contract.”
I have never had a doctor before. Like this hospital, she is also mine. I have seen pediatricians, dermatologists, general docs and a laundry list of specialists. But, until December of 2011, I never had relied so heavily on one physician to translate, soften blows, spell it out, hear me out, listen, talk, encourage, remind and heal.
We are in this together. I can’t believe she’s breaking up with me. Like a first love, she is all I know in this new world of mine.
I stood there, processing.
I wish she was taking a job in North Dakota. It would be a cleaner break. Instead, she will be an hour from my house and more of a concern, not covered by my insurance.
So close and yet so far.
I drove home a little shell shocked.
Do I choose my hospital or do I choose my doctor?
Seth was sad when I told him. But, always the solution guy, he said I can do both. Commit to my hospital, while I sneak in an illicit appointment or two with Dr P along the way.
That would just feel like prolonging the inevitable.
This break-up is so personal. Dragging it out may hurt more.
She has been telling me for a while that I can go from my every 3 months to an every six month check-up with her.
“You can’t get rid of me that easily. I’ll see you in 3”
I think she has been trying to let me down easy.
This has got to be hard for her. Leaving her thousands of patients behind. Not knowing who makes it. Who doesn’t. Maybe I’ll give her a call. Or maybe I’ll start seeing that new guy, he has kind eyes. Who am I kidding? I’m not ready.
Breaking up is hard to do.