Thursday, October 30, 2008

The women in my life - part 2

My health care providers

Nancy is my internist. I was referred to her by my dentist. She is a wonderful down-to-earth, say-it-like it is kind of woman, probably close to my age. She has longish graying hair that she wears pulled back off her face, she wears no makeup, and she’s always in trousers. Though she’s not too tall, she has a long stride. She also sounds like she comes from the Midwest. I was so tired of feeling slighted by my male internist I was desperate for a change. And, Nancy turned out to be the perfect doctor for me. Fortunately, I don’t have to see her often – my health is excellent – but I’m confident she would take excellent care of me if I needed it.

Gail, my dermatologist, and I, started out as book club buddies in the mid 1980s. But, when I found out that everyone in the club went to her, I wanted to go too. And, that’s not easy. Her office is on the west side, so it’s a real trek for me to get to her. Also, she’s so busy there is always a wait once I get there. Her assistant, Cynthia, suggests I call before leaving my home or office to see how late she’s running – Gail is always running late – so I can gage my departure time from there. She is the most thorough dermatologist I’ve ever known. And, as a result my husband and son see her as well. We don’t care that she doesn’t take insurance (except Medicare). She’s worth every penny.

Sharon, my gynecologist, doesn't take insurance either. Thank goodness for my flexible spending account. But, she is worth it too. A good friend referred her to me and she never disappoints. She is up on the latest facts that pertain to my age and body, and she takes action quickly when it is needed. I also like that she never over reacts and lets me make decisions with her about whether to I should stay on hormones or not. She and I never believed the results of an early study that resulted in millions of women giving up hormones, so I stayed on them, and I’ve never been happier. Even so, she makes me have regular tests to make sure nothing untoward is happening as a result. She shows her respect for me as an individual and professional – quite a contrast from male doctors I’ve experienced who treated me a know-nothing little girl. Also, she respects my time. She always is ready to see me at my allotted appointment time.

Marlene is the gentlest dentist I have ever known or experienced. And, believe me; I know what a sadist dentist is like. She always asks during a procedure if it hurts. Any little grimace or look from me will concern her. I feel like Marlene and I have grown old together. I started seeing her in the mid 1970s when we were both in our mid 30s. She’s also gained a lot of new knowledge along the way. (However, she still has the same hairdo – long hair, graying now, pushed back and into a French roll in the back.) I like that she continues to go to school and is up on the latest procedures. What will I do if she ever decides to retire?

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