Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dr. W

I know I write and talk a lot about spina bifida, our wacky Potter shenanigans and the wildly humorous things our 3 year old says, tonight is...not much different. However, I do think a lot more of you will be able to relate.

I'm willing to bet a lot of money that all or most of you have had a negative encounter with a doctor, nurse or the various other people we meet in the medical community. Sometimes we meet nurses who are having a bad day, doctors with grim and hopeless diagnosis speeches and even some who on the rare occasion believe their chart knows more about your child than you do. This isn't a rant about how miserable they succeed at making me. This is a rant about one doctor who makes up for all of their shortcomings. 

Dr. W I will call her, because I didn't ask permission to use her name and since I'm still a newb blogger I don't want to break any fine print rules. Although I could call her, "Dr. Calls us back", "Dr. Smiles a lot", "Dr. Doesn't interrupt", "Dr. will explain it 5 times in a row with an unfailing smile", or "Dr. checks on us, and checks on us often." Yep, any of those would work just fine, but for time and carpal tunnel purposes, we'll stick to Dr. W.

Our PCP (Primary care physician) Dr. B and I agreed that Roman's raspy breathing had gone on far too long to be blamed on the intubation's from his previous surgeries. He made us an appointment to see a pulmonologist at the hospital two hours away where Roman was born. 
When we first met Dr. W she was quite comfortable just letting me explain his medical history, why we were there, and all of my other concerns. I actually thought to myself, 'man, I'm talking a lot." But, she listened, and not in the funny way doctors can listen and write in a chart way either, she stopped what she was doing, looked at me and listened. When I was done talking she answered my questions, and when I didn't understand the answer she explained it again, and when that confused me more she explained it again. I knew right away she was one of those rare doctors, the ones that just really care. 
I could on and on about the events that followed our first visit, they include experiences ranging from a simple upper G.I test to full blown heart surgery! But, the main focus here is Dr. W, not us. (this time!) I knew she was different: 

  • When Dr. W got the results of our upper G.I she called me personally, after-hours. Amazing. 
  • When two different E.R's scoffed in our face and sent us home she called me, personally, and said, "I have a room for Roman." 
  • When I walked in, strung out from a weekend of failed middle of the night E.R trips with my wheezy baby, my purse, my backpack, his diaper bag and a tear in my eye she took Roman and walked to the children's hospital with me, the whole 2 miles.(Give or take 2 miles)
  • After she signed off on Roman and he went into another doctors care, she walked that same 2 miles the next day to see him and smile at me. So kind. 
  • When I came home to pack more clothes, shower, and recharge she called me, personally, after-hours to say that Roman had taken a turn for the worse and would be moved to the PICU. 
  • When Roman was in the PICU and she made the 4 mile trek to visit, again. 
  • When Roman went in for his 6 month post-op check up and Dr. W saw that tests were ordered (By a different doctor) but never scheduled, she didn't let us fall through the cracks, she just asked, "what time is good for you?" 

It is the doctors that take the walk that they didn't need to take, make the calls that they didn't need to make. The ones who listen, the ones who teach, and the ones who genuinely care. The ones who ease your worries and never let you fall between the huge cracks of your overwhelming medical journey.  The ones that trust your ability as a parent, no matter what color your hair is, or how many tattoos you have. These are the doctors who shine above, who touch hearts, who change lives. 

Thank you, Dr. Wubbel
I mean...oh nevermind. 


  1. Once again, nice story and I hope Dr.W gets to read this.

  2. LOVE this post! Wouldn't it be great if all doctors were as compassionate and caring as this amazing Dr. W! Thanks for sharing, Erica.

  3. I love this post! What a great doctor! I wish we could have more doctor's like this one.

  4. i love doctors like this. rare, but they do exist. makes you wonder about their personal lives.. have they had similar experiences to ours? i wouldn't be surprised :)