Ok. Mandatory Family Doc story:I was 13. Barely 13, as it had been my birthday two days prior. On the day after my birthday, it was a snowy first day back at school, after winter break, and I was being cocky with a snowball and nailed a guy on the ass from an impressively far distance. In response, he turned, charged me, and I flew backwards landing on my back with him on top of me. We laughed, but my wrist hurt, so I went to see my doctor.
She said that I should get my wrist xrayed. And I remember her specific instructions: “Janine, after they give you the x-ray, tell them to call me and don’t leave until they do.”
I’m at Children’s Hospital and after the X-ray, they tell me to go home and that my doctor will call me. Before I can speak up, I’m alone in the hallway. I start to walk in some direction, through some door, remembering what Sandi had told me and scolding myself for I wasn’t listening to her. I felt guilty and knew I had to make this right. So, I turned around, walked through a door that said ‘don’t enter’ in big bold letters and eventually found someone, who was very surprised to see me, then timidly said, “my doctor said that I wasn’t supposed to leave until you called her.” Slightly confused, he asked me what my name was, then he walked me through the halls to a waiting room and told me to sit down. Less than ten minutes later, he came back and said to follow him. He brought me into a small room and said that I get to pick out a cast for my arm.
I wanted a white cast. That wasn’t an option and they were out of glow-in-the-dark, so I got a green cast.
But that was my doctor; my Sandi. She knew how to make the system work with gentle persistence and immense care and empathy. Every action she took was with intention and she has been a part of raising me. I got to give her another long hug today and I have a feeling that I will see her again soon, even though she is now retired. Or maybe that’s just a little hope that I’m going to hold onto. She is irreplaceable, but I feel lucky to have known such greatness.
The photo was taken during the year that I was born. Isn’t that the coolest?