came from Alyssa’s pediatrician in regards to an email I’d sent yesterday. I’m grateful I didn’t read it until I made it home this evening. I still haven’t fully processed it. It’s nothing horrible but I still just can’t quite get my brain to wrap around it. I sent her an email requesting a couple prescriptions I needed for Alyssa. She’s always been so good to us about not making us haul down to the office for the “little” things. However, instead of the standard reply with attached documents or notification that they were available for pickup… I got a reply that she has left the practice. At first I didn’t think much of it. She’s moved offices three times in the last five years. We always very willingly follow her. However, as I read on she gave recommendations for other pediatricians in the valley. Before I could even finish the email I felt tears hitting my cheeks. By the time I’d finished reading the email Alyssa was asleep (I was checking emails as she was drifting) so I slinked out of her room and shared the news with Neil. True to form he was calm and level-headed about it. It stinks but what can we do? I mean, aside from be grateful that we had this woman as our PCP for over five years.
The thing is, right now? All I can do is go back and forth from reliving moments with her to panicking about having to explain five VERY full years to someone new. See, Dr. G is the kind of woman who remembers the first time we met as well as our last visit. She remembers the details and keeps them straight. As a matter of fact I didn’t know quite how well she remembered that first day until Alyssa’s five-year well check. I’m wondering if she knew at that point but could not disclose it. I say that because we had quite a bit of a “memory lane” conversation that day. She recounted the day we met in quite a similar way to how I do. It surprised me because for me it was my daughter’s first pediatrician appointment and it was two days after we’d left the NICU when I was still frantically trying to land on my feet. I’d have assumed for Dr. G it was just another new patient exam. Instead she recounted tiny details and when I told her I was surprised she said something to the effect of: “You’re some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met! Of course I remember the first time I met you!” I was taken aback because we feel so very similarly about her.
See, Dr. G is not the kind of doctor that lost her “person” somewhere on the way to becoming a doctor. She practices without ego, with compassion, and with the ability to listen as well as she informs. That very first visit was when I pulled the glove off Alyssa’s little hand and told her they’d told us it was eczema but I wasn’t buying it. She agreed and said “I have no idea what that is. I know it’s not eczema, but I have no clue. I, however, do know someone who WILL know.” Sure enough she referred us out to the dermatologist who wound up diagnosing Alyssa. That’s the beauty that is Dr. G. She is knowledgeable and willing to help. However, she’s not afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something and call in for consult. It’s been a blessing to us throughout the last five years. She has been a blessing to us throughout the last five years.
It’s odd. The bond special needs parents form with doctors. I mean, sure, typical kids have well checks… if you choose to take them. Parents see doctors quite a bit the first year and a couple of times the second year and then annually after that. I get that they grow attached to a pediatrician. On the other hand… there was a time when we were in Dr. G’s office so frequently that the staff knew us by name and some had formed pretty big bonds with our kiddo by the time she left her last practice. This is a woman who I’ve had to wake up at an ungodly hour multiple times. This is a woman who took my mother’s intuition seriously every step of the way. This is a woman who hopped on the phone when Alyssa fell ill and had to be transferred causing me to have a complete and total meltdown because it echoed way too closely to having to transfer our tiny three-day old baby. That phone conversation is one that I needed more than anything in that moment. I’ll never forget her tone when she said: “This isn’t the same Jessica. It isn’t. No one is taking your baby away from you. No one is saying you can’t be by her every second. This is different.” It was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. That’s what Dr. G is amazing at. Knowing what to say!
We are so fortunate as a family to have these amazing doctors in our lives who are also amazing people. Luckily we are to a point of needing a PCP for the simple purpose of having one. However, it still means I’m going to have to find one who we feel confident in. I’m also grateful I found out when Alyssa is stable. I’d rather search before we are in a “NEED” situation. Thankfully most, if not all, of her well care is provided by Dr. Koury and Dr. Berry. Standard sniffles and such fade quickly now that she gets adjusted regularly. On the other hand, we’re going to need someone for the “what ifs” of life and for things like wheelchairs and leg braces and such. Ah well, I hope she left for a great and happy reason. Perhaps she’s taking a few years off to spend with her growing kiddos. Life passes quickly. I honestly can’t believe we’ve known her for over five years.
So, wish us luck in finding a new pediatrician. Also, if you are in the Vegas area and know of a stellar pediatrician who isn’t going to give me too much flack about not vaccinating, handles a fair bit of special needs kiddos, and is affiliated with Sunrise… please share their info! Here’s hoping we find someone to fill Dr. G’s big ol’ shoes!