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.