A Doctor's Big Heart
Last updated: May 2018
In February 2009, I decided to fly to the Cleveland Clinic. Why you ask? I wanted to see doctors that were the best in the world. I had read and heard stories about how good the clinic’s gastroenterology center was. I was status quo in regards to my health but I wanted another set of eyes to have a look at me. My colorectal surgeon had guided me to make the trip. I made an appointment with a doctor to for a Tuesday afternoon. I had to wait seven months to get the appointment, so I wanted to make sure that I did not miss it. When I awoke that Tuesday morning, there was a problem.
My flight from Philadelphia to Cleveland was originally scheduled for 7:00 A.M. It would take an hour and a half to get there, then another half hour in the car. My plan was to visit the doctor, and then head back to the airport to catch a 5:00 P.M. flight back to Philadelphia. There was a terrible ice storm that hit the Midwest states that morning, and I was worried that my flight would be delayed, or even worse, canceled! I had visited the airline’s website and saw that flights were delayed to Cincinnati and Columbus. The storm had taken a southern path and ended up just clipping Cleveland. I blew a sigh of relief to find out that my flight was on time!
After arriving in Cleveland, my mom and I took a cab to the clinic. What a beautiful place. It was a small city within a city. When I met with the first doctor, I was very surprised about what he said. He basically told me that there was nothing he could do to help my condition, and that I wasted my time and money flying out there! Wow! Not the response I expected to hear. When he left the room I felt completely defeated. I started to cry! My mother felt so bad, but she kept telling me that we would find somebody who will have an answer. I was angry. I spent so much time, making arrangements to go to Cleveland that I couldn’t believe this was happening. I went into the hallway outside the examination room, and stood at the window to look outside. Another doctor whom I never met came up to me and asked if I was ok. After I told him the whole story about what happened he told me to join him in his office. He felt so bad for me that he wanted to take me underneath his wing. He wanted to help me! He told me that he would admit me to the hospital that day, and we would run all the necessary tests to determine a plan of action. I was so happy that he took the time and effort to want to help me.
After discussing the plan with my mother, we decided that it might be easier to go home. Why you ask? The reason was because this doctor was in Cleveland, and I would have to fly out to see him about once a month he said. The other option was that he would contact his friend at the University of Pennsylvania. This doctor in Philadelphia was the elite doctor in the country for IBD. He made sure that I would see him that week. So I choose to go back home to Philadelphia.
After landing in Philadelphia, I sent this doctor a thank you letter. I thanked him for taking the time out of his busy day to help me. He is the reason why I am with the doctors at the University of Pennsylvania. He had such a big heart, a heart that helped me on the road to recovery.
Does living with IBD impact you financially?