I read a very sad article on KevinMD today.  The author recounted how he had lost the love for medicine and the many ways he was sorry.  The article hit me as if I had taken a shotgun blast to the chest at close quarters.  For truly, I’m sorry!

I’m sorry I had to give up my practice of medicine.  I never lost my love for practicing medicine, but I had to leave my love behind.  Parkinson’s does horrible things to its victims.  It slowly, progressively diminishes its victim’s physical capabilities. 

I have “off” periods.  They are often spontaneous, and I literally freeze, have trouble walking or shuffle until I’m “on” again.  Then there is the fatigue, (whether from the disease or from the medication), that hits hard and stays for a while.  Naps have become frequent and non-refreshing.  My sleep sucks.  When the medicine wears off, my body stiffens and the pain sets in.

Add a heavy dose of degenerative disc disease, its resultant pain and practicing medicine is no longer possible.  I’M VERY SORRY!  I know many of you are lost.  You’ve told me of the many problems you are having.  I understand your frustration.  I’m sorry for your frustration.  You’ve told me how angry you are when you can’t get your meds refilled.  You’ve told me there are no physicians like me.  I’m sorry. 

Your new physician is not me.  They don’t know you or me.  They don’t know whether to trust my notes.  They may not understand your treatment regimen. They are going to want to see you.  I’m sorry.  You need to get to know your new physician and he/she needs to get to know you.  I’m sorry I can’t be there to care for you.

In most of the spy novels I read, the hero gets caught and tortured.  The villain wants to break the hero and force him/her to their knees.  The hero almost always says, “Do your worst, you’ll never break me.”  Unfortunately, I’m no hero and my captor has done its worst.  It stopped me from taking care of you and your healthcare needs.  It broke me.


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9 Replies to “I’M SORRY”

    1. Thanks, coming from one of the best educators I’ve met in the last 40 years, I’m honored that you read my blog.

  1. I’m sorry could just as easily be…YOUR WELCOME for the 30 years of extraordinary care you provided to all your patient. No one can replace you!

  2. You fought long and hard…and as I said to you…if there was karma you would have a long and healthy life. …we love you and miss you and hold you close, Mary

  3. I think of you often and am so sorry for what you are going through. You hired me right after I finished medical assisting school and gave me a chance. I learned so much from you and you were a very patient doctor knowing I had no experience. I worked with you for about 8 years and it was the best 8 years in my career. I talk about you today to many people, about what a caring, genuine physician you were. I was amazed how much time you took with each patient and that’s because you truly cared about their health. You are truly missed by so many but it’s now time for you to take care of yourself and reflect back on your life and realize how many people you have helped and put such an impression on them. My own kids say they wish there were doctors like Dr. Segal in there world today. You were a wonderful physician and a genuine, caring friend to all!!! Take care and I will pray for you always❤️

  4. But you ARE a hero to all of us. You may feel broken right now but know how deeply you are respected and loved by all your patients.
    Hopefully that brings you comfort.
    Its rare for anybody to have so great an impact on so many people.
    We remember your kindness and your skill in our times of need. You may not be practicing medicine now, but the positive effects you had on us will linger for a lifetime. Hopefully that brings you comfort.

  5. Grieving is a very hard thing in live, probably one of the hardest if I am going to be honest. Whether we are grieving due to a death, abuse, divorce, financial ruin, or in your case the loss of ones health, it is a journey that has its twists and turns, sometimes it isn’t so bad in a particular moment, but then we hear something or someone, read something or remember a special moment and we are at the beginning again, where the pain is a fresh as the moment we stepped into the loss.

    This week a dear friend is reaching a year that her dear sweet son took his own life. I cannot fathom what she and her family are wading through in terms of their grief, I only know how is affecting me and my youngest as this was one of her closest childhood friends. 20 years ago you saved me from doing this to myself because I couldn’t see any other way. You have helped so many over the years by treating us a patients, teaching others by example, bringing many of us into your family, doing beyond what is typically done by physicians. Yet you are still helping us in many ways. By writing this blog, along with still helping others when you can.

    I am sorry for your loss, I miss both you and R very much. If I could offer any words of wisdom, it would be to take the time you need to process your grief and all of the emotions that come with it, then as you move along this new journey life has given you, you will continue to help those you can, in ways that can with out giving too much of yourself.

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