The eye doctor
Wednesday March 05th 2008, 1:07 pm
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",Friends,Knit,Life

Got it done, got it delivered. Okay, here’s the story:

Remember when I missed that second play date with Lyn?

An eye doctor who teaches at Stanford has a patient who is in my lupus group, who asked him if he would come and speak to us. He told her he’d be glad to. When he came, he clearly had spent many hours putting together a powerpoint presentation so we could see slides of what he was talking about, and written descriptions on more slides to help us remember the details.

At one point, he said, This is what iritis looks like–but you don’t have to worry about it, it’s very rare and only 4% or less of lupus patients get it.

I raised my hand and said, I’ve had it.

A few minutes later, he put up a slide of optic neuritis, again assuring us, But this is rare.

Guess who raised her hand slightly, with a slight nod of the head. He immediately came back with, That’s more common with MS, have you been tested for MS?

Spinal tap. Yup. Negative. I didn’t add that when the neurologist told me I had to hold absolutely still curled up afterwards for half an hour, I asked his nurse if I could knit; after hemming and hawing, she told me, well, that’s a new one, I guess so! So in the position I was told I had to stay in, I was holding my daughter’s sweater above my head, stitching away with it dangling onto my nose and thinking I must really be crazy to be doing this–but my Christmas deadline was looming… (My fellow knitters understand that one.)

Doctor V. said something about anti-inflammatories, and I shrugged, I go completely deaf on one dose of NSAIDs. Not an option. Oh. Steroids, then. Steroids don’t touch my lupus, I admitted. I told him, Remicade saved my life after my lupus spread to my GI tract, giving me symptoms of classic Crohn’s, but it gave me congestive heart failure; permanent chemo is it.

I saw the tears that leaped to his eyes, and I was suddenly glad I hadn’t mentioned the dysautonomia or the car accident to pile it on. I wanted to throw my arms around him and comfort him and tell him, it’s okay! Really, it is!

Because his tearing up had hit me right where I live. Someone knew. Someone who was a doctor, who knew what all those meant, who was there for me. It mattered to him. Thank you, sir, more than I can say.

Carslbad scarf in Lisa Souza’s Max Sky DramaAt Stitches, I told Lisa Souza about that doctor and that day, and her reaction was to *give* me a hank of her silk/merino Max yarn she’d dyed in her Sky Drama colorway for me to go knit up for him as a thank you from her, too. To express her gratitude as well for his empathy and kindness in taking so much time to be there for patients he hadn’t even ever met before. For giving two hours out of his day, plus transportation and all that preparation time, answering every possible question for us. He’s a good one. She wanted to tell him so, too.

The Carlsbad scarf and story in the book that mentioned my eyes? Her silk in Sky Drama.

And so I made another Carlsbad scarf for this good man’s wife with Lisa’s generosity. It had to wait till all the Stitches knitting was done, it had to wait till the Lunasea Silkie for Andy got finished, but at last I got a chance to get to it.

And it is now where it needs to be. Being a tangible reminder of our gratitude–Lisa’s, mine, every patient’s in attendence at that lecture–for an eye doctor who truly sees and who was willing to give so freely of himself.

Thank you, sir. My best to you and your family.

11 Comments so far
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There are good, warm people in this world. It is well with my soul.

Comment by Channon 03.05.08 @ 1:14 pm

What a gem of a doctor. It’s good to find those.

Comment by amy 03.05.08 @ 1:48 pm

I’m glad you show appreciation to the docs. I work with several that speak publicly often, and I’m sure they would appreciate knowing if their lectures affect people in a positive way.

Comment by Amanda 03.05.08 @ 3:27 pm

You two conspired to such a lovely expression of gratitude. I’m glad you found someone who understands. *hug!*

Comment by Amy 03.05.08 @ 5:36 pm

you certainly do lead a blessed life running into people who care and understand 🙂

Comment by Danielle from SW MO 03.06.08 @ 6:20 am

oh how nice it would be if there were more doctors like that in the world … I bet he was so surprised and pleased by the beautiful gift.

Comment by rho1640 03.06.08 @ 7:09 am

That is what all doctors should be like. I’m pretty sure most start out wanting to be like that, but it gets beaten out of them. Too bad.

Comment by Carol 03.06.08 @ 8:56 am

i love that particular colourway. your stories really hit me with spine tingles. every time. but i am glad that you share them.

Comment by marti 03.06.08 @ 1:33 pm

He’s a good doc. He sounds like one you should switch to, even. Doctors who still care after all they’ve seen and been through are gems.

Somewhere, someone has to have written your case up for a journal. Seriously. That’s a journal article at least. That way, you’d be famous in the medical community, too. 🙂

Comment by Carina 03.06.08 @ 2:26 pm

He sounds like a great doctor. You are a most extraordinary person, an average person confronted with those types of health complications would have their character tested to say the least. But you continue to shine and bring such good to the world around you. I find that really inspiring.

Comment by Michelle 03.06.08 @ 8:34 pm

It means a lot to find a Dr that is empathetic. I’m sure that the medical professionals that you have acknowledged really appreciate your attitude. Most of us don’t realize how hard their jobs are!


Comment by Bev 03.06.08 @ 9:49 pm

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