Between both my parents (89 and 92), they have ten doctors.   In 2011, they had 131 doctor visits.   I didn't count them up for 2012, because I know there were more, and 131 is enough to make the point.

We spend a lot of time in doctors' offices.  So much so, that I now take along the two latest issues of Time, maybe a book, and a water bottle.  Sometimes the mail.  I make sure I have my folks' medicine charts, a pen, and some gum.  Then, we settle in for the long wait.

We have never been in and out of a doc's office in under an hour.  It's usually two.

For the good docs, we don't complain.  They are kind and warm and know Mom and Dad very well.  It's a blessing to have someone in your corner like this.

For the urologist who treats his patients like cattle - herd 'em in, herd 'em out - the wait seems rude and wasteful.  After a year of hoping things would improve, we transferred to a new urologist, who calls himself "the plumber."   Dad gets a kick out of that.

My favorite physician is Dr. R. (the folks' primary care doc.)   He nods kindly when Mom insists her health store supplements are keeping her alive.  He holds Dad's hand in a manly shake while gently reminding him that, yes, your heart is still weak, and no, we don't live forever.

Several times, Dr. R. has talked to me on the phone about the folks.  As I've watched Mom and Dad decline, he has allowed me to share my fears with him.  In front of him, I have often blinked away tears.
Mom with Dr. R.

He doesn't know this, but he's my doc too.


J.Day said...

It's so nice when you have a doctor that actually treats you like a human being with actual feelings. My grandmother's primary doctor is such a jerk (to put it nicely), but she won't change. Glad that you and your parents have a good primary doctor to help you through the challenging times.

A-Z Challenge.

Anonymous said...

Heart-felt posting about some of the issues we face.


Miranda Hardy said...

I cringed when I read about the number of doctor visits. Yikes! At least it sounds like you have a great primary.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You are blessed to have Dr. R. Good doctors are very hard to find. I've never been able to understand why doctors find that they have to make people wait like that.

Karen Lange said...

A good doctor is a blessing, that's for sure. :)

Lynn Proctor said...

yes the right doctor can make such a difference, i am glad you have some that are kind and good!

Jaime said...

I'm not sure how I missed the first few of your A to Z posts. My excuse is that I was in Tallahassee that last three days and have been a bit off. Ah, I can't lie - I'm always a bit off:)

I love random-type posts. Even though I have a photography theme this year, the writing is very random. I'm wondering if themes will naturally emerge from the randomness.

Mari said...

As a nurse, I've worked with all types of Doctors. It's a blessing to find one like Dr R.
I'm dealing with lots of appts right now with my Dad too and have encountered several varieties of doctors. The good ones make all the difference.

Anonymous said...

We take care of an elderly couple who were my husband's late parents' best friends. We're their only family. In fact, my husband is at a doctor appt with them right now. It's difficult being a caretaker, to say the least, but having compassionate and competent doctors makes a huge difference. God bless you for the care you show your parents, and God bless their doctors!


Margo Kelly said...

Aw. Yes. I've reached this point with my mother ... and I wish all doctors cared as much as we'd like them too.

Great post.

I'm a new follower from the A to Z Challenge. Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday! :)

Unknown said...

It's a wonder that you can keep track.... Ten is a lot!

Unknown said...

Mare, isn't it wonderful when you find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable and feel safe knowing that your folks are in his hands? We have a wonderful pair of family docs. Ralph has a great cardiologist as well. Luckily they are the only ones we need right now except for our dentist who is wonderful and I've know since she was a teenager. Have a great day!

Elizabeth said...

As in all professions, we encounter the good, the bad and the ugly. It's a blessing their primary doc is in the good category.

Kate Sherwood said...

This is such a wonderful tribute--to Dr. R and to the person each of us can be in our interactions with and service to others. I want to be like Dr. R in my own non-doctor way, and your post was a wonderful reminder of that.

Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

Kate Sherwood said...

One more thing: You mom has the greatest smile!

Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

Unknown said...

So nice to have that connection. I've always felt specialist I can deal with no matter their temperament - although I've mostly had good ones. But your main doctors should be someone you really bond with.

We both wrote about doctors today!

Lisa said...

A good doctor is treasure! Sounds like you're all lucky to have found Dr. R.!

The Life of Lisa
Random Ramblings
Maple Grove Cemetery

D.E. Malone said...

Good doctors are definitely a blessing. I've seen my share of them the past six months because of my husband's health issues and have experienced all levels of care.

Sharon said...

It's difficult as our parents age! Thankfully, my parents are still in good health at 79 and 80 but my husband's father passed away almost 2 years ago and his mother is 90 years old and still living at her home but with some help. We haven'thad to deal with her everyday things as well as doctor appointments because we live about 14 hrs from her but I know what my sister-in-law has had to deal with and it cannot be much fun. It's nice to have a good doctor; one you can talk to. God bless him and God bless you for taking such good care of your parents.

Nel said...

I am so glad you stopped by tonight! This post tugs at the heartstrings. I remember when I was taking care of mom & dad. And the endless doctor visits, what I would give for one of those visits now! I will be back to read more. I love A to Z because you just get to meet so many new friends.
until next time...nel

Dana Martin said...

Ohhhh wow. Beautiful, poignant, dear. I am sure there are people like you going through this who would like to read this to know they aren't alone.

I think this is my favorite one yet. And I love the picture of Mom. She's a doll.

Waiter, drink please!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

My parents GP is a wonderful doctor they call him Andrew which is his first name they never refer to him as Dr K he is Andrew and my parents have been seeing him for the last 20yrs and he is the only doctor dad will see now on the odd occasion when he has had to see another doctor at he practice he goes that doctor isn't as nice as Andrew...a good doctor makes all the difference

Trisha said...

Some doctors are really horrible, at least in how they treat their patients. It's hard to believe especially when they are cold and unfriendly towards little children and even babies (my niece had such an encounter recently that made her cry, poor bub). But the great doctors are truly wonderful!

Unknown said...

You are very lucky to have Dr. R. Your folks are lucky to have YOU!! And visa versa!
A to Z buddy
Peanut Butter and Whine

Joy said...

Wow. You are so blessed that your parents have lived so long. But you are right that it's so hard to watch them decline.

The last 10 or so years of my Dad's life he had a bunch of doctors too. He was born with a hole in his heart that was fixed in the 1960s and when he got in his late 40s, he starting having more heart and lung problems. He went into atrial fibruation twice and they couldn't cardio convert him the second time so he just lived with it about a year until his death.

I had a happier occasion to be in the doctor's office all the time since I had my daughters 14 months apart. Having the right doctor is so important when you're in the office all the time and my Ob is a great Christian doctor who always made sure to take care of me as a person.

Jerralea said...

I just spoke with a friend today that said she liked going to the doctor - the wait in the doctor's office is a good opportunity to rest!

Mare, I'm enjoying your a-z series. I like the random topics - even better than I would have liked a theme. I never know what your topic will be. I was going to join the a-z bloggers but felt I had too much going at the time. Next year I'll join in for sure!