Life takes many turns and in recent years, I made some major life changes. I want to acknowledge the part you, my patients, played in helping me to grow.
I care deeply for my friends, my patients, and even strangers I meet. For the past 30 years as a physician, I have been giving and caring. In medical school, I was taught how to care for others. How to listen, how to diagnose and how to treat. In many ways, I was taught how to have a one-way conversation. In my integrative medicine training, which began with earnest in 2015, I was re-educated to a new way of practicing medicine. It is based on a true two-way dialogue: how to listen, how to hold space, and then how to meet your patients where they are at. A healer’s job is to help patients heal themselves, and as an MD we can also use medicine or surgery when necessary.
Along the way, during this journey, I came to understand that the wounded healer is always walking side by side his/her patients. She is not really leading. The interconnectedness of all beings is paramount. Hence, as I was practicing my craft and listening to my patients, I too was learning and growing and healing as well.
Your stories have empowered me to find the strength within to tackle my fear of living alone. The fortitude that you, my patients, have had in living your journey emboldened me to listen within and choose to live my truth. My patients with cancer brave chemo and disfiguring surgery with smiles on their faces and lessons learned. My patients with fertility challenges continue trying even when treatments are demoralizing and difficult. There are numerous single moms who choose to parent alone after broken marriages or no long-term relationship in sight. Many women have walked away from relationships that didn’t serve their best interests anymore. Some of these relationships were toxic and yet these patients had the fortitude to cut the cord and grow from the experience. I have worked with many a lonely teen suffering anxiety and depression who wakes up, goes to school and continues to believe life will get better after high school (it does).
I could go on and on because you, my patients, have been open and honest and trusting with me and allowed me to listen to your stories and share your pain.
On this day of thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude to you…you are my heroes and my inspiration to live my truth. Choosing the hard road is not always the easiest way to go, but living authentically is critical, it is the key to happiness. And so this doctor just wants to thank you for your honesty and for the privilege of being your doctor. Your strength has helped me find my strength and helped me live my life. I cherish the future and hope we can continue to work together in this game called LIFE.
From my light to yours,