I’ve started to believe that there’s no such thing anymore as meaningful interaction. More and more it seems like people leave each other with a bad taste in their mouths.
But then there’s those people who make you feel like not giving up.
Recently my work changed their healthcare coverage from Kaiser to something else. As the end of the year creeped closer and closer I had frequent breakdowns and crying sessions about it. I used to hate the doctor. I became a mastermind at finding ways to avoid the doctor. But something had happened over the past few years, serious health issues made me unable to avoid it any longer. In the course of this coming to terms with my health something happened. I had created this support system. This network of doctors and nurses who treated me with kindness and helped me with the multiple illnesses I have been diagnosed with over the past 5 years.
When I say I used to hate the doctor I mean I actually has a crippling fear of going. I had a laundry list of illnesses I believed I had. I had been chronicling this since I was 12 years old. I had set myself on a mission to do whatever was necessary to get out of going to the doctor. Most trips I took there were expensive emergency room visits where I knew all of the doctors had more life threatening patients to attend to. They didn’t have time to focus on me and my strep throat and the multitude of imaginary illnesses I knew I had waiting inside of me. I slipped through cracks. It’s so easy to, especially when you want to.
But one day those imaginary illnesses didn’t stay imaginary. I had to come clean. I had to face the truth. One friend offered to hold my hand and help me come to terms with whatever was really wrong. I found out that a good deal of my fears were true and some things were even scarier. A terrible doctor could have scared me away forever, sent me back into hiding. But all of the doctors I received were amazing, understanding and not judgemental. I was always waiting for someone to judge me. Finally call me out on waiting so long to address all of these issues, but no one did.
I made one last appointment with my doctor a couple of weeks before the year ended. I told her that I was leaving and I wasn’t sure how to move forward. She told me I was the kind of person that made her want to go into medicine in the first place. She said really great things that honestly came from her heart. It really broke me. When do you have a doctor say things like that to you? Finding that kind of care is rare. It was that moment I felt the true loss of what I had to let go of, people who honestly cared whether I lived or died.
Just as with anything, some things aren’t meant to last forever. People appear or things happen at specific times so you have something to lean on. So you don’t completely fall down. Some people exist so you don’t give up. So every time I make a doctor’s appointment, just the fact that I’m actually making an appointment, I realize those people played their part in my life. They helped change me.