my primary MS doctor and the relentless researcher of MS,
who had stellar bedside manner and
who I really had to be talked into seeing by my eye doctor. In the end he became my first choice neuro doctor and I am very picky, being an "old neuro nurse".
I wrote this shortly after I found out he was gone.
I was sitting in the McDonalds parking lot,
Eating my lunch on the road where I work
(I still work full time, thanks Dr. P...)
And helping them access personal care.
The clinic called and my heart always skips a beat when they call me
Back to my other reality....
This is YOUR life, not some other sufferer.
They wanted to invite me to a tribute to Dr Panitch.
I was on the “a” list.
I looked around, was there anyone looking at me?
Did anyone see? Hear?
I wanted to be polite, respectful,
I wanted to say, Yes.
My schedule flashing in my head.
How could I do that, I thought.
It is for the MS society.
The people who thought my MS story was too long and when I shortened it they said it wasn’t quite right.
But it is for Dr Panitch, I thought,
A lifetime achievement award.
No, I said, so plainly, No.
I am honored (and I was sincerely),
But I cannot do it.
I lived in two worlds,
The Neuro Nurse and the Neuro patient.
My friends, coworkers from 30 years ago would be there,
as health care professionals.
How would I fit in?
My world, a subset of both nurse and patient.
Hearing he is gone from our material world,
I am relieved I was not there,
That my memories can be of him standing in the hallway,
Trying to peek at my progress on his study meds,
Briefly making eye contact, I smiled at him,
Trying to say what he has done for me is appreciated.
He has bought me some time,
He has given me expensive cutting edge treatment I would have otherwise gone without,
He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, we will take care of you.”
He meant every word.