Who is my doctor… really? You probably just see a white coat blow by in a flash of furry, roll your eyes, and prepare to hand over a wad of cash. JIPPED again. At least that’s how I’ve always felt.
But then I went on this journey. The journey of supporting a spouse through med school applications, more applications, more applications, a masters program, med school, and now residency. A journey that’s far too long for one post. Two or even three of them probably won’t do it. There’s a level of extra I need to capture and share. The bits far from the glamorous life so many assume we share. It’s not often, if ever, anyone has asked who is my doctor- really- like outside of this room.
This journey goes back to my college days at UCF **GO KNIGHTS**. We’re talking 2006. It’s 2019. Just sayin. Proof below.
There have been so many bits and pieces of this story forcefully stuffed into dark closets because I’d rather not. Deciding to spill the beans meant finding my loose keys and jamming them through a few of those rusty closet door holes. Kinda uncomfortable, yet completely life giving. The same type of feels I had sharing with you about my fertility journey.
Ok, so you’re not a doc. You’re not a spouse or significant other (SO or sig) of a doc. You don’t have anyone in your family that’s a doc. Why should you care about who your doctor really is? Because you’ve seen one. You’ll see another one. They’re involved in the care of your family at one point or another. It just might be worth a read.
For every time you’ve felt like a number they’ve felt like a machine.
A white coat that covers up humanity wrapping it in a blanket of divinity. Changing what would otherwise “be understood” or “accepted” into a life doused with unrealistic expectation. No longer is there a person in front of you, just a machine. One who has given up everything, everyone, every piece of themself for you. For your family.
The white coat that cost over a decade to earn, a marriage almost (or already) dissolved, coupled with ever spiraling depression, physical, and spiritual burnout. The white coat that sees death and despair as normal and struggles to connect with the real world. The coat I love and hate.
Love- because it’s his calling and he is good at it. Amazing really. Love- because walking in your passion is priceless and I’m thrilled he gets to do it every day. Love- because I know he is making a positive difference in the lives of total strangers every moment he serves in the Emergency Department. Many at their most vulnerable state. Just steps away from death’s door.
Hate- because it means I come in second place. Hate- because I can see it tearing him apart. Hate- because the way everyone looks at us… as if we owned the world making our struggles, our voices, irrelevant. It feels like no one wants to ask who their doctor is, as a real person, not just a health care provider. And Lord knows I’ve not had once, once, someone ask what it’s like to be married to one.
Nothing Is Perfect
This is not about healthcare and politics. Nor am I justifying docs who have lost their way in providing the best care by treating you like a number. I still feel like a number too. Nothing is perfect, and medicine is no exception.
What I’m painting, here, is a heart inside the machine of medicine.
It will be my great honor to share what this all looks like. And I truly hope I do it justice. These posts will not be produced one after the other. They will be shared as my heart can handle 🙂
If you know someone, anyone, walking a portion of this path I’d encourage you to reach out… text, call, email, whatever. Let them know you’re thinking of them and that you care. You probably won’t hear back so don’t take it personal. They saw it, they felt it, they needed it. Responding probably wasn’t possible at the moment, and you can bet sleep was priority #1 the moment they walked through their front door. Send the love anyway. Because if someone in your life is serving in the medical field, you do know who your doctor really is. Chances are… they’re someone just like your friend or family member.
Hugs, because handshakes are awkward~