I recently found myself walking along rows upon rows of greeting cards at the local Hallmark store. The hunt for the perfect card was on, as I was in desperate need of a card that was the right combination of sentimental, sincere and heartfelt, without bordering on being too mushy and sensitive.
Where in Hallmark do they carry the “thank you for saving our son’s life – repeatedly, we are sorry to see you go, you will be missed, best of luck with your new endeavor, you will always be in our prayers”? It seems like the color coded captions along with card shelves neglected to highlight the exact category that I so desperately needed. All of a sudden it dawned on me – we are incredibly blessed to have this relationship in our lives that cannot be clearly defined by a Hallmark card. It’s truly a blessing NOT to fit into a color coded caption. It is an attestation to the uniqueness of this relationship and a testament to the fact that this IS a one of a kind bond between doctor and patient family.
One of Jordan’s specialists is moving out of state. This is not just ANY pediatric physician, this is the very medical professional to whom we attribute having Jordan with us today. He specializes in Jordan’s main medical condition and he has been our alpha-doctor, our medical quarterback and our family’s referee for almost five years now. He was one of the attending physicians when Jordan was at his worst. His perseverance, knowledge, expertise and ability to call in the right specialists at the right time made such an impact on Jordan’s outcome – five years ago and every day thereafter. This man was our family’s beacon of light when we were in the darkest valley of our lives.
He spent countless hours sitting by Jordan’s bedside with me. He would brainstorm out loud – obviously mostly to himself, but allowing me an incredible insight to the diagnostic process of a medically challenging case such as Jordan’s. He had theories that ended up just being theories, but he also had ideas and suspicions that were proven to be correct and rather “spot on”.
He has continued through the years to be our go-to medical guru for all things Jordan, even for issues that are not directly related to his expertise and specialty. Our pediatrician has gladly taken a step back and let this doctor dictate when, who, what and where with regard to medical tests, specialists and medications.
Our quarterback has always been available to us – day or night. I remember Jordan’s first fever after our last hospital discharge. I was flying down I-95, rushing home to be by Jordan’s side, when I called our doctor on his cell phone. He answered immediately and his orders were “give Jordan lots of love and pour yourself a glass of wine. This is the first virus since his initial illness. Expect that it will be worse on you than on Jordan”.
He texted us back at 10:00pm the evening Paul and I both gave Jordan his nighttime medication. We double dosed the little guy, in spite of his objections that “dada already gave me this medicine”. The doctor’s recommendation was to skip the morning dose and “not have dad do mom’s job again”. So with a light mood, deep knowledge, professionalism and an incredible amount of concern for the patient, he has pulled us through the toughest of times and brought us safely to shore on the other side.
How do you properly thank a man like that?! His tireless dedication to his patient families is not just “in a day’s work”, it is truly unique and a blessing to those lucky (or unlucky, depending on which way you look at it) enough to cross paths with him during their time of need. Words escape me when I try to think of ways to express our heartfelt gratitude. No gesture is big enough to symbolize our appreciation for all his hard work.
It is with a heavy heart that we have an appointment with him for the last time this week. But it is my sincere wish when he sees Jordan thriving, that he will be inspired to continue serving families affected like we were. I hope he will realize that he changed our lives – for the better – for ever… what more is there to say?!
Times like these make you realize and appreciate that real life miracle workers and heroes do not fit in a Hallmark sentiment. Their work cannot be celebrated with a canned speech, nor can their resolve to seek perfection be recognized with an assembly line created greeting card. However, honoring Jordan and respecting his life’s journey is, simply stated the only way to celebrate this doctor’s hard work – each and every day.