My heart broke when I found out she was retiring. Throughout a number of my procedures she not only cared deeply about my well-being but she would take time to see how Amanda and the kids were doing. Her and her husband also had five children so she was a perfect fit for our family. The time she took to find out about our year and how things were going at the church and my stress levels were indicative of her care for my health.
Dr. Maher also desired to have me on the least amount of medications, but was always proactive if she felt that a medication could prolong the effectiveness of my heart function. She was on top of medical breakthroughs and improvements and cared about us holistically.
I knew the day would come this year where I was going to start with a new cardiologist. That day happened to be this past Thursday. I was not looking forward to the loss of 10+ years of friendship and knowledge about my medical history, but you can’t just pull someone out of retirement to do a checkup on you.
I had my echocardiogram done as usual and then we waited for an hour to see the new cardiologist. Needless to say Amanda and I didn’t connect with him. I’m not here to bash anyone, so we will leave it with that.
When finished, Amanda and I headed out for lunch and we discussed our feelings regarding the appointment. It’s almost as difficult to change from one group of doctors to another then to lose your cardiologist to retirement. We haven’t had this type of decision since 2001.
On September 12, 2001 I had a doctor’s appointment in Philadelphia with my doctor who had recently left Pittsburgh to practice in Philly. Needless to say he was in California on 9/11 and wasn’t able to fly back for my appointment so I saw one of his associates. After my testing, Amanda and I (we had only been married for 3 months) spoke with the doctor. We shared with him that we were going to be missionaries to Papua New Guinea and we wondered what I needed to be conscientious of regarding Marfan syndrome.
He emphatically told us that we were stupid for going overseas and that it was the dumbest decision we could ever make. We were in shock at his treatment of us. Albeit having Marfan syndrome and traveling halfway around the world to live might be discouraged by some in the medical field, but his treatment of us was unacceptable and unprofessional. When we were traveling home I told Amanda that my regular doctor never talked down to me like that and that he is a very kind and knowledgeable man. Regardless of my regular doctors kindness, I never went back to him due to his associates treatment of me.
That is when I found Dr. Maher and had stayed with her for so many years.
Now we are in a dilemma because we may have to make that type of a decision again. It’s been two days since my appointment and I still can’t shake the heavy heart of knowing I may have to find another cardiologist. With such a complex medical history I don’t feel like I can just go to any cardiologist and receive high quality care. The good thing is we have a year to figure this out.
So I guess this is more of a rant than a blog. I would love to find out from anyone who reads this how you have dealt with these types of situations. Life has been so busy and it would just have been nice to have felt comfortable with the “New Doctor”. But again, I am sure we will figure it out by next year.