Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Loving Your Career; A Man and His Medical Bag...

Good grief, I feel like I have been hit by a truck and run over on a cold rainy day... My eyes are saying LET ME SLEEP, my heart is saying write a blog post! If you are a regular reader, you will know that A) I blog on Friday to kick off the weekend, B) I blog on Mondays to kick off your week and C) That every once in a while something gets the best of me and I have to postpone a blog or two; (I know, I hate that I am human sometimes too!) UGH! SO!!!! That is what happened last Friday... all weekend and then again today. Long story short (not my typical M.O.) it went like this... busy, busy, busy, internet down all day; leaving you without a blog twice! Forgive... (and perhaps forget) I promise to give you a bonus blog sometime this week but I won't jinx myself by saying when. Deal?

Within all of this ridiculousness and sleepiness I decided to dig down and pull out some inspiration, one reason is that it will help you... and I know by helping you, my spirit will be lifted up too. Tonight's inspiration comes from none other than my mailbox... yep, I opened today's mail just a little while ago and found something that made me smile with joy and shed a tear all in the same sentence. Here's the story...

When I moved to Florida back in 1999, I needed to find a pediatrician for (at the time) my ONE child Cierra. I got several opinions but had not yet needed to go for anything. Then one day when I needed to bring Cierra in for a physical for school on the fly, I managed to find an office just down the road from where I lived. (Nobody had referred me to this office.) I walked in and they took us in that day. When the doctor came in, I was quite surprised being that most doctors I had seen over the last several years of my life were fairly young; mostly in their late 30's to early 50's. This little man looked to be nearly 70 years old and I was astonished at his charisma and passion for what he did. He became our pediatrician that day, I was hooked immediately.

In 2001, I gave birth to my daughter Baleigh and Dr. Adler was the name I put down as the family pediatrician. I still remember what the nurse,who looked to be about 45, said to me, "Is this Dr, Phillip Adler Jr.?" to  which I quickly replied. " No, he has daughters no sons, he is the original."  The nurse quickly told me how Dr. Adler had been HER pediatrician when she was a child and had no idea he was still practicing. As my girls got bigger, I assumed it would be any day that I would find out Dr. Adler was retiring and I dreaded that day thinking every visit for the yearly checkups would be our last with him. My kids were rarely sick so our visits once we got past the infant shots and toddler years were sparse, typically it was our yearly check ups and the occasional allergy flare ups.  He was THE BEST doctor I had ever known, he diagnosed something just by looking at your child, I think he only ran tests to cover his butt. It was second nature to him after so many years in practice, he knew his craft and he knew it well.

In this day and age, you don't find doctors that love their career as he does, you don't find doctors who give you their cell phone numbers and ask you to call them if anything goes wrong. You don't find doctor's who ask you to follow up and if you don't call him to follow up after treating your child he will call you and ask why you did not follow up. You don't find doctors who bring you into their private office after treating your child to discuss them as an individual person uninterrupted on EVERY visit and give you as much time as you needed. (He had nurses to take care of your child/children during this "talk" in his office)You don't get scolded when you don't listen to what the doctor ordered; (I mean literally get in trouble as if you were his own child)... None of these things exist as a group unless your doctor is Dr. Adler.

Several more years passed.... as he diagnosed, treated and maintained the health of my girls "old school" style. Year after year I waited for his retirement. Then in 2008 I became pregnant with Zane, and let him know that he couldn't quit yet. He promised me that he wasn't going anywhere, and he didn't. He continued to care for my kids and I continued to take his advice because it ALWAYS worked! "No medicine unless fever went over 102 and that was for the sake of comfort... no breastfeeding on demand... only nurse every three hours because you are no good as a Zombie and it takes that long for a mom's boob's to fill back up... forget what the le leche league says," he once told me even though I never went by their advice anyway. "They kicked me out of a meeting once"  he chuckled, as he told me the story of how he went to a Le Leche' meeting once because they were telling mom's wrong and he wanted to set them straight. He is a spunky man and I love this man's spunk. When Zane was six months old, I found out I was pregnant with Abrielle, and told him once again that he had to wait to retire... and again he promised me that he was not going anywhere; and he didn't. She was born into this world and met our Dr. Adler very shortly after, embracing his love just as my other 3 children and I had. We ALL love this man. He saw me through tough times and tears in my last marriage and comforted me while sitting in his office one day when I told him I had ended my marriage; his black leather medical bag by his desk, walls covered with bulletin boards full of pictures of all "his children"; he was our very own Norman Rockwell.

Fast forward, to 2012. I called to make an appointment because Zane was having an allergy induced coughing attack... we were told that Dr. Adler had had a heart attack a few months earlier and I was asked which doctor we wanted to see. I was devastated, but relieved to know that he was doing okay. I asked which doctor was most like him and the answer I got was "none of them." We booked with another doctor in the office and went in the next day. Zane wanted to know where Dr. Adler was and did not want the "new" nurse to touch him, he asked for his nurse Loraine... and they went and got her. Loraine told us that he was doing good and that he would be coming back, but his doctor would not allow him to come back to work until January. I had to chuckle because at 83 years old... he was still planning to continue seeing patients after he fully recovered from his heart attack. Talk about determination.

Tonight, I opened my mail to find that dreaded letter announcing Dr. Adler's retirement. I almost cried... and had my moment of silence. I know HE is still alive... but part of me died hearing this news. I will truly miss that man, my kids will miss that man, and I know we will never find another doctor like him no matter how long we look. I wish him the best in the years he has left, I hope he finds a hobby so that he will stick around for a few more years. He is a very special person that inspired me every time I saw how much he loved his job; the kids... and how personal he treated each and every parent and patient that walked into his office.

Tonight's post lends this message....

There is a lot of life in loving what you do; you will never want to quit when you KNOW that it is your purpose here on Earth. After almost 60 years of servicing children, this man does not want to retire... he said so in the letter, and that my friends says more than I can ever say in a blog post.

Goodnight, Good morning or Good day... depending on the time zone these words find you in!

My kids never cried with this man, even when he gave them shots!

Dr. Adler with Abrielle

Abrielle, Lorraine and Dr. Adler

Zane now says he wants to be a doctor like Dr. Adler, I love this picture of them together

My little man being seen by his favorite doctor