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To the Doctor Who Believed I Could Conquer the World

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When you met me, I was 16 and thought I had a pretty high pain tolerance. Boy, was I wrong! My 16-year-old self would have passed out cold from the pain I have endured over the past four years.

You developed a plan to control my pain, and it worked really, really well! It still works, but now that the hospital administration has discontinued the treatment program and you are unfortunately no longer my doctor, I’m forced to adapt. 

Thank you for giving me the four amazing years to fight complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and win. I wouldn’t be alive today without you, and I definitely wouldn’t have had the successes I’ve had if it weren’t for your innovative thinking.

Thank you to you and your nurses for battling the insurance companies to allow me to get the treatments I needed. Without those treatments, my quality of life would have gone out the window a long time ago, and I don’t know where I’d even be today. I definitely wouldn’t be a successful college student. 

Thank you for the way you constantly reassured me that everything was going to be OK, even when I was absolutely certain it wasn’t going to be. I’m glad I was able to tell you what I was thinking completely unfiltered if needed. 

Thank you for making me laugh until I cried on the days I was in the most pain. You took me to the operating room many times (I lost count after 50), and you made me feel completely at ease. I didn’t have to fear going under anesthesia because I knew you would take care of me, and I’ve come to trust you with my life. 

Every individual with a chronic illness needs at least one doctor like you who is willing to step up and do what’s best for their patient, even if it’s not the most popular decision.
I’m being forced to turn the page on my chronic illness journey. You absolutely believed I could conquer the world if I had adequate pain control. You bragged about all of my accomplishments to other doctors like I was your daughter, and I couldn’t have done any of it without you. 

I’m heartbroken and, quite honestly, very scared to venture out into the world of adult pain management. I thought I’d have you as my doctor for another six years. I thought I had time. I didn’t. 

Although we’ve had to part ways very suddenly due to the hospital administration, I’m thankful to be able to say you were the first pain management doctor who actually helped me. Everyone thought we were making progress over the years and that the treatments wouldn’t be discontinued by the hospital, but we were wrong.

Some feel like we failed. In my eyes, and in the eyes of every single patient you’ve helped, we didn’t fail. You bought us more time to be as close to typical kids as humanly possible. You bought me four more years to have a good quality of life and for that, I will always be grateful.


One of Your Very First Patients

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images 

Originally published: September 30, 2016
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