Tuesday, September 1, 2020

My Doctor

I have the most wonderful gerontologist.  She listens, she comforts, she snarks when needed.  She gets me, laughing about my normal behavior/incipient insanity, teasing me about Dr. Google's mistaken 

On my way to make oatmeal this morning, I opened a piece of snail mail from her practice, assuming it was a reminder to get a flu shot or some other mundane but necessary task.


She's leaving at the end of the year, moving back to California where most of her extended family lives.  Covid informed her decision.

Devastated doesn't come close to describing how I feel. 

I never did get the oatmeal.  

I sat down at the table.  I read the letter a few times.  Respected Patient, it began.  I sighed; I always felt respected, by the front office staff and the medical professionals behind the doors.  The letter says that no one in the practice is accepting new patients at this time; I'm losing the lobby experience, too.

This is making me sad.

The letter listed 4 physicians who are accepting patients.  I went to Lenore the Lenovo to check them out.  There wasn't much.  (The difficulty in finding anything out about a physician is fodder for another post.)

All I had were the basic details.  Starting with gender, I eliminated the man.  Moving on to proximity to my house, I sat on hold for there are 6 calls ahead of you before explaining my situation to the receptionist.  Certainly, they'd be delighted to sign me up, but she wanted me to know that the doctor was going on maternity leave in November.

I'm not signing on to someone else who's leaving.  I thanked her and moved on.

Between the DO and the MD, both women, the MD marginally closer, I went for the medical doctor.  She can see me in December for a new patient visit.  I asked for a telemed visit; after all, I haven't been inside anyplace since March 12th.  Nope, she likes first visits to be in person.  I sighed and made an appointment for December 11th.

JannyLou and Lady Jane have concierge doctors, an extra level of service that TBG and I really don't need.  Scarlet has a variety of doctors, but none of them is primarily a gerontologist. Since I've chosen to believe that my next major crisis will be Old Age; I want someone who's well-versed in Geriatrica, as my friend Marilyn Heins calls the land I'm entering as time goes by.

I really didn't want to have to do this.  My physician had promised to see me through to the end.  

She's allowed to have a life of her own.   I just don't like it impinging on mine.


  1. We have to find a doctor down here if we will be here more of the year. We arranged for a virtual visit with our clinic in Oregon to keep our prescriptions going. I don't want to leave it. We've been there since we bought the farm and with our current doctor probably 20 years-- some retired on us. I don't like change when something is working; so sympathize with you. We don't even have an idea of a desirable clinic for down here. :(

    1. Very few doctors are accepting new patients,and none of them were gerontologists. I'll be sure to get my refills updated and my questions answered before she departs.
      My mom always told me to be sure your doctor was much younger, "so they don't retire when you start to need them". I feel your pain.

    2. Funny as despite my age, I'd never thought of getting a gerontologist. Our doctor in Oregon is an internist but then we've had him from years ago. I can imagine they'd be hard to get down here with so many elders. We did get a veterinarian set up, which pleases us :)

    3. The GP we found when we first moved here retired. My gynecologist was able to take care of all my needs and prescriptions until regulations made my sore throat "not an approved body part" for her to treat. So, I found an internist/gerontologist. And now, she's gone, and her replacement is a Family Medicine specialist. That's pretty far from what I need right now :-)
      Glad the animals are covered!

  2. Oh I do feel your pain! We lucked into a good office for the elderly. Jim's doctor of 25 years in Seattle is moving to a concierge practice. We used to go there once a year for physicals, but covid took care of that for us. So, at least we have someone in Tucson that we like. Hopefully she doesn't leave or retire.

  3. My doctor retired earlier in the year, and I deliberately chose a new one that was young enough not to walk out on me.

  4. My internist was much like your geriontologist, a woman with whom I could sit and talk for hours. She understood and she listened and she shared her own life with me. Then, she decided she could not continue to work under the conditions Medicare and insurance companies required, so she left medicine. Our new doctor is outstanding, and young, but she holds to the "rules of the road," and gives me just a bit over the allotted 15 minute patient visit. I can email her, though, and she answers.


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