The Gift of Appreciation

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Today I saw ‘The Doctor’. Dr. J is a married mother with two young children. She has an enormous family and she is always there for her parents, siblings and in-laws with equal care. They love her. Her patients love her. Her friends seem to love her. She’s in high demand!

Dr. J left her work as a general practitioner to be a specialist so she could do work she describes as meaningful in a way that’s authentic to her. She is always careful to clarify that many general practitioners care and are very good at what they do; however, she is a proponent of being open to all forms of therapy that have been proven to be useful. I can always tell when she isn’t convinced about something because she would say she doesn’t know much about it and suggests more controlled testing would be required for her to voice her opinion on a particular treatment. She refuses to treat her patients like guinea pigs (poor little guys) and any objection is said without the slightest tinge of what I call ‘conventional western medicine arrogance’. I trust her entirely. I do my own research because I’m curious and want to be informed but I have confidence that I’m receiving the best advice.

Her brain power is massive, she’s compassionate and genuine, and always finds the time to ask how you’re doing without sounding disinterested … and she really wants to know! She always meets her patients in the waiting room instead of having an administrator or nurse lead them into an examination room.

At 40, she still looks like a caramel pixie child, but she’s fiesty and resilient. She also hates labels and the ‘one-size fits all’ approach to diagnosis and treatment. She has told me that we’re “partners working towards the common goal” of getting me back my health. She is a gifted healer.

I never feel like a number when I go for my weekly appointment to see Dr. J. Seeing her is like having tea with a friend … which may also be contributed to the fact that she drinks a lot of tea! Today it’s the scent of cinnamon that permeates the room!

Her 50 percent is much better than most people’s 100 percent but I can always tell when she’s just a little tired or the day is not going quite as planned. How can I tell? I’ve come to know this incredible person who has shared anecdotes about her own life to make me feel more human.

Today I informed her that I got into a clinic we’ve been trying to get me into for over a year. She has been incredibly supportive and she wants me to take advantage of this opportunity. Still, she expressed that she’d still like me to continue seeing her for the time being in conjunction with what the clinic doctors recommend. I know she wants to make sure that I’m being given the best treatment.

So, how do I make this woman’s day … this person that’s not having the best day but has always given me hope, help and has always expressed concern over my wellbeing… I tell her how much she means to me. I simply let Dr. J know that I would never leave because I’d be lost without her.

Dr. J’s face brightened and she was visibly touched and flattered. Her appreciation for what I had said to her was instantaneous. She may go home and share it or keep it to herself but, either way, the gift of telling her this today mattered. There is no greater compliment for a healer with a heart big enough to help an endless amount of people to heal.

Sometimes helping someone is an obvious massive undertaking and sometimes it’s a simple expression of sincere gratitude. There is reciprocity and synergy that exists in healthy relationships … even in those that seem unimportant.

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