Dr. Panwalkar strode into the exam room last Tuesday, and after shaking hands, he plunged into asking about my back pain, before he even sat all the way down.
"So what's this I hear about your pain?"
So I tell him all about it. And as I do, he leans back, his hand resting on his jaw, intently listening. He asks all kinds of questions and then says, "Well lets examine you."
I breathe deep, a few extra times this time. He is listening to something, but makes no comment. I have no burning need to know. Back, then front. He checks my nodes, my neck, my shoulder. He checks my abdomen, pushing in as I hold my breath... "Any pain here?" "No, it's fine," I answer.
He thumps down my spine, finding no sore spots. He checks for swelling in my ankles and arms, throughout my stomach.
He leads, I follow. Mouth open, eyes staring, arms up, then down. Till finally, he rests his hand on my shoulder, steadying me - the only sound- the buzz as he brings the exam table down. He then pats me and nods at my seat by Rick. I smile when he goes to shorthand, and I read him smoothly. The movements are all choreographed in a way, and it calms me so, knowing we've done this hundreds of times.
He again sits, leaning back, pondering what may be causing such discomfort. Distance grows in his eyes, as he shares a bit about watching his grandparents go through treatments for pain back in the 80's. It occurs to me Dr. P would have been a child at the time. He suddenly blinks, and says "sorry." But its those rare glimpses of him outside of being a doctor that help me feel I'm more than my label of patient, too.
So he offers the idea that perhaps the pain is coming from radiation damage from the treatment I had to my lung awhile back? And since neither one of us thinks it would be cancer, truly I just need to work on alleviating the pain. He agrees with both the ideas of seeing a chiropractor or seeking acupuncture, and mentions I could see Dr. Lien.
As he makes refills on my scripts, he asks, "Any more questions?" And he turns, drops his hands, and looks me in the eye to see I'm shaking my head no, and smiling.
We accomplish so much in our time together. He is my "other people."
Look at how others keep showing up to see me through...
Homemade baked goods- salty, spicy, sweet and yummy! A young college student with a heart of gold who spent a day baking, then dropped it off on our front step- thanks Julia!
Shan mothers me so- the perfect box of natural pain relief and organic and yummy treats- all the way from Tennessee- a true box of love.
All the way from Germany- Mimi makes me a beautiful beaded necklace with my favorite blue color! The angel is pure delight. I'm so touched by this outpouring of love from others.
As much as I love my Jesus Calling devotional- receiving a copy of this was pure gift- I dip in daily for spiritual nourishment. Thanks Annie for the connection that endures.
Sometimes, you get to be the "other" for someone. Rick and I were so grateful to help my friend Karla, give something very special to her grandson, Brody. With Karla's permission, I'm posting this fun surprise, a gift from one very special hockey player- to another.
Who are your others? Who might you be an other for?