Over the years, I have had my share of interaction with doctors, hospitals, nurses and other medical personnel. Whether it be regular visits, hospitals for surgery or emergency situations, each and every event brought its own level of anxiety that is often not recognized by the professional taking care of you. I understand that many medical personnel are overworked, have to deal with unruly and rude patients and experience days that go much longer than the average person. However, it is in those moments that we are dealing with our own anxiety and nervousness that we rely on those that are trained to guide us through whatever may be happening with us at the time.
From the first day that my mother and father started going to Stuart Oncology Associates, I knew that they had landed somewhere special. They had been recommended by their primary care physician after my dad’s diagnosis with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. My dad is 80 and my mom is 76. Having no experience in the medical field, you can imagine what it was like with all the new words, diagnosis, treatment options, and processes that were thrown their way. My mom made a simple request to Dr. Simone, their Oncology specialist, to please call their son and explain to him what was happening. They placed a call to me and said that Dr. Simone would be calling me that afternoon around a certain time while I was on my travel in California. During the exact expected time that afternoon the phone rang and my relationship with Dr. Simone began.
Other than my own personal physician who is incredible, Dr. Simone was willing to spend as much time as I wanted on the phone with me to answer all my questions, explain exactly what was happening and would not hang up until she was comfortable that I had all the information that I needed for the moment. Each visit afterward she calls me the afternoon of my parents visit to fill me in on what she had told my parents and again lets me ask all the questions that I need to ask. She spells the medications I don’t understand and explains the parts of the disease that are unknown to me. As I requested of her, she tells me exactly what is going on without a sugar coating. I have somewhat of a medical background and recently went through initial treatments with a friend that had Lymphoma, so much of it makes sense. Yet, there is so much I don’t know.
Dr. Simone, her assistant Monique and all the staff at the office understand what it is like to be scared at some of the most vulnerable times in your life. They are a true example of the reason that hopefully all medical professionals go into practice. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way many forget that they are dealing with people who are facing the unknown and we become a number, a dollar sign and are often lucky to get five minutes to talk about things that we may be dealing with for a lifetime.
If you have a doctor like my physician Dr. Crall or my dad’s Oncologist Dr. Simone take time to thank them. Never take for granted that you are getting amazing care because that is what they are supposed to do. Understand that you are getting it because that is what they want to do. Today, my hat goes off to all those medical professionals that care for us and remember that we are people, often scared and afraid, and that sometimes all we need is a little love and compassion.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles today.