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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
A Thank You to my Doctor
Thirty years ago, I was a very sick little girl. My pediatrician had no clue what was wrong with me and my parents felt helpless. The pediatrician told my parents it could be various things, from irritable bowel to giardia, based on my symptoms. In early 1981, I started seeing a pediatric gastrointerologist on Long Island. I spent close to a week in the hospital and went through a battery of tests, eventually diagnosed with Celiac Disease. My dad slept in the chair next to my bed while my mom went home to take care of my baby sister. By the end of that tumultuous week, my life was forever changed by a doctor who had only finished his residency the year before my diagnosis!

As my thirtieth year of living with Celiac Disease comes to a close, I wanted to reach out to my doctor and thank him for truly saving my life. I sent him an email yesterday to thank him for diagnosing me and treating me so early on in my life. My last visit with him was probably 20 years ago, so who knows if he even remembers me. On average, it takes 11 years to get a diagnosis; with this doctor it took us less than 4 months to get a diagnosis. I feel that my life would be completely different if this young doctor hadn't been diligent, progressive, and caring enough to not let me leave the hospital without a diagnosis. For that, I am forever thankful.

Thank you Doctor Jim!

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Anonymous Gluten Dude said...

This is fantastic. I'm sure most "experienced" doctors were too set in their ways to consider an alternative diagnosis. And very cool to reach out to him after all of these years. Maybe I'll be inspired to reach out to mine in 25 years.

Blogger ackdavis said...

We remember important people in our lives. Sometimes even small things like a smell, a sound trigger memories from decades ago. How trememdous of Dr. Jim to stick with your problem to find a solution when so little was familiar about celiac.

Let's hope for the next 30 years that awareness and availability for safe eating is abundant. Let's not wait to be appreciative, to move ahead. Let these people in your life know today that their action made a huge impact on you. Maybe knowing you thrive today because of actions they took long ago influences their positive decisions today with others. So fitting with Thanksgiving just passed. Pay it forward. Thanks!

What a blessing that you had Dr. Jim and what a lovely way to express your gratitude. Here's hoping that more sick little girls and boys will find a good one like him.

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