dickens

 

” .. Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent forever. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.”-    Charles Dickens

Every interaction we have matters. We may not see it, but it does

Here is a story of how one patient saw 2 different doctors. With the exact same problem. The reaction was completely different, and so was the result. You do not have to be a doctor or social worker or health care worker to have this impact. It is just this example. Every day we encounter people that as simple as it may seem, just a hello or a smile can make the difference. Sometimes, just knowing someone notices you are not doing well is a big deal.

Patient walks into Dr. D’s office. Patient is a 29 year old. He has depression, has a history of suicide, drug use, and addiction. He is in good physical health. He has not asked for help for a long time. He was in the psychiatric hospital as a teenager multiple times.

Dr. D comes into the office right at 8 am as the day starts. He gets his coffee, and asks for his first patient. He walks into the room and looks at the patient. He says “what can I do for you today?”

The patient says, “I am very sad, I have low energy, and I do not feel normal.” The patient is shaking and is embarrassed to be at this point in his life.

The patient says, “I have struggled with drinking and drugs and do not feel good about myself. I am scared to talk to anyone about anything, but especially this. I am at an end, I have to get help or I am going to die.”

Dr. D says, “Ok, well let’s draw some blood. Have you ever been checked for diabetes, low blood sugar, or thyroid problems?”

Patient says, in a trembling voice. “No. I don’t seem to have any of the other problems that would go with diabetes though. I work in the health care field.”

Dr. D says, “Well I am going to run some blood tests. I also see you once had a positive PPD test, so we will give you some INH.”

A ppd test is when you are tested for exposure to tuberculosis. If you are positive it usually means it is in your system but not active.

So Dr. D has the patients’ blood drawn and has given him the INH. The blood tests come back normal. No problems.

The clinic nurses call the patient and state everything is ok. Dr. D said to follow up if you have any concerns. They as a clinic have so many patients, they forgot why the patient came in the first place. They get a list of lab results, so when they see them come through, they never think of the patient. They see the results and make the call that they are ok. This is not their fault. They are completely overwhelmed with a huge volume of lab reports of patient’s to call.

This patient was anxious and depressed and afraid to ask for help to begin with. Now with this call and this response,  the patient is basically pushed aside, IF the patient wants help, he will have to make the call again and go through the embarrassment and shame of asking for help again.

Now, the patient does not go for the INH. He is now feeling hopeless. He never even went for medical problems, then when the results came in, the clinic never even thought that it was to rule out anything. The patient got lost in the pile of papers. Basically became a number, not a person. This is normal these days. They want the Doctors to see as much patients as possible, as fast as possible. So give them a pill and get them out of here. It is our medical system, and it has become a business.

In this case, the patient now goes on another binge, and gets more depressed. If anyone has been through this they know any binge can result in death to self or someone else. Thinking again about suicide month later, the patient calls up the clinic. The patient has lost hope in Dr. D. However the patient is afraid to ask for another provider. Because he will be considered “difficult.”

The patient, using all the courage that they have, gets another appointment. This  is months later. So at this next appointment, Dr. D walks in, and he does not recognize the patient.  He treats him as if he is a new patient. He asks again if he has any medical problems.

This time. Dr. D says “Let me draw blood for some things” once again. Checks his heart. He does not know the patients name, or occupation, or any of what had happened before.

The patient is a number, he now feels worse and is upset that he even came back. He gets his blood drawn.

The patient gets a phone call back. He is to come see Dr D again, he must come in to go over the results. They cannot tell him over the phone the results. However, there is also some hope. He feels that maybe they found a reason he has felt like this his whole life.

The patient is scared, he knows if you have to come in to go over results it is not good. Saturday morning Dr. D walks in as he is the on call MD this weekend. His eyes are bloodshot and red, Dr. D did not sleep last night you can tell. He does not recognize the patient, his name, or anything. He feels he is just seeing all emergency patients as they are the Saturday clinic this month and he is on call. Dr. D has no idea he is talking to his own patient.

He then asks the patient, why he is here.

Then Dr. D still not knowing the patients name says “oh yeah, well, looks like you have chronic fatigue syndrome and there is really nothing we can do. Maybe go to groups, or exercise.”

Just what the patient wants to hear right? You are chronically tired and out of luck. You are not depressed or any of that. Sorry, go to groups.

The patient puts his head down, that’s it. You can see him, the thoughts are something like, “I guess I never was depressed, I’m just tired,” that is what he is feeling.

Any of us can tell these things in watching people if we just watch and are truly present with them. If we take time for one another it is easy.

Then Dr. D says well I can give you Provigil to keep you awake during the day and trazodone to help you sleep. SO let’s do that and check back in a few months. We are now giving a patient with severe anxiety a pill that they used to give to pilots to keep them awake during long flights.

The patient gets the pill to stay awake. His depression and anxiety have still not been addressed. He has learned that this is what happens when you ask for help. The patient now feels hopeless, sad, anxious, and like a fool for asking for help. There is nothing they can do for him.

First they tell him he has tuberculosis, then its chronic fatigue. They spend 15 minutes with him each time because management wants doctors to see 4 patient per hour so they can bill for that. Then they make more money. Dr. D is considered more productive if he sees more patients in a day because he makes the clinic money then.

The patient then with this depression history, drug abuse history, has made his last ditch efforts to get help. It took everything he had to even ask for help. He was pushed aside, they didn’t know his name. He got lost as a number. Then he was told different things by the same doctor each time he went in.

Why would someone go seek help after this? Dr. D never even asked him about his depression or anxiety or his history. He was a number, and he pushed it off like it was not depression. Just give him a pill and get him out. I don’t blame Dr. D, this is our system. I have seen Doctors get scolded for taking too much time with their patients.

This patient would then go into severe depression and his drinking and self-destructive behaviors would intensify over the next few years. He had many near death experiences, he got a DUI and spent more time in jail. He got to a point in which he almost died and his family had given up on him completely. He was basically going to fade away to the world. You could tell, he had given up on himself and everyone else had given up on him.

About 3 years later after Dr. D. This patient called the clinic. They said “So you see Dr. D, would you like to see him again.”

The patient has an opening and says, “No anyone is fine.” Simple stroke of luck.

The patient is set up with Dr Broeker. This is his real name he still practices for Allina. It is at the end of May. The patient has made up an excuse to go in he says he is having urinary problems.

He is in the clinic office in the room waiting. Dr. Broeker knocks on the door, he says, “hey XXX, I just want you to know I am running a little bit late but I will be in as soon as I can.”

The patient is shocked, Dr Broeker knew his name and just knocked on the door to tell him that he was running late.

Then during their meeting, the patient is comfortable, and feels at ease. Dr Broeker comes in and says his name, what his experience is and does not have a clipboard. IS not looking at the computer. He asks “what are you here] for?”

Dr Broeker then says “what else can I do for you?”

The patient starts to cry and says “I am anxious, nervous and afraid to ask anyone for anything. I hate myself, I cannot stop drinking and I want to get help for feeling depressed.”

Dr Broeker spent the next hour talking with this patient. It was amazing. He talked to the patient about life. Dr Broeker talked about his time as an MD and how he wants to get this right. He explains the depression scale, the anxiety scale and fills it out with the patient.

It was like this patient had been waiting years for someone to say, “It’s ok to be sad, let’s talk about it.” Finally after, years and years of internal torture. Dr. Broeker had released this man from his own internal prison. It was amazing. Words will never do it justice what Dr Broeker was doing for this patient.

It was supposed to be a 15 minute appointment. Dr Broeker knows the patient has been seen by Dr D because he read the chart, he says “why were you tested for all of this?”

The patient says,” I don’t know that’s what he thought.”

Dr. Broeker says “well, ok, let’s start you on celexa and come back in 2 weeks to make sure you are not having any side effects.” Dr. Broeker did not judge the other physician and was respectful and kind about what the other MD had done. When someone is truly great like this, they do not need to question anyone else. He is pure, there is no competition for people like Dr. Broker, he practices out of love, and he is a doctor for the right reasons.

The patient was so much at ease with Dr. Broeker that he was able to tell him everything and open up about the drinking, drug use and all other issues that he was facing.

Dr Broeker wanted him back in 2 weeks just to check on side effects. The patient felt he had a new lease on life.

Then in 2 weeks Dr Broeker pops in and knows the patients name. He talks to him for a while like they are old buddies and shakes his hand and is friendly with him.

This patient has had a history of no shows throughout his life, but never with Dr Broeker. Usually if we have a patient with no shows, we label the as non-compliant or as not really wanting to get help. But, could it be that the problem is in the provider and how we treat patients? Or at least say it is 50/50? In a few months the patient was in rehab, and able to look at people. Dr Broeker then eventually recommended therapy to this patient.

This patient was willing to listen because he trusted Dr Broeker. He believed in him. The same recommendation could have come from another Doctor and it would have gotten a different reaction. The difference is in the relationship, not in the knowledge. Dr Broeker took time, he did not care about the 4 patients an hour.

Dr. Broker is special, he is in it for the right reasons. He takes time. That is true productivity.

He saves lives, He saved this patients life.

 

I know this, I watched it. The patient was me.

The Doctor is Dr Michael Broeker.

He saved my life. He is one of the “fab 5” that I refer to that changed my life. That is number 1. The magical Michael Broeker.

 

If it was not for him, I would not be alive today. The patients that tell me I saved their lives and changed them forever, my friends and family and everyone that I have touched, it is all not possible without him.

 

I almost died and did not want to ask for help ever again. He sat down and listened. And talked. He didn’t follow the 15 minute rule. In my moment, lost in the woods, he gave me the light and pointed me in the right direction. All because he took time to get to know me and did not judge me.

 

I am alive today because of him.

 

Thank you Dr Broeker.

 

The End

 

 

Comments
  1. kaygy says:

    Oh my God! I’m so glad I read it, such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this. You are so right- the difference is in the relationship not in the knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. neighsayer says:

    I can blame Dr. D. That sort of personality shouldn’t be a doctor, a doctor’s job is to look for trouble, not to look for a way not to find it. Terrific story, thanks. I’d say we got the short version of the story, you only mentioned two doctors and one was great – I’m guessing that isn’t the true ratio of great doctors to crap doctors, at least in the existing system.

    Another fantastic post. You write stuff that we can’t find elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think people become doctor’s these days for status. And business people have become too involved in the health care system. But people like Dr Broeker are around, unfortunately he is the exception, when I think people lines him should be the majority.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Cortland for such a magnificent and edifying story. I venture to suggest that it wasn’t even the Celexa that made the difference but your relief in finding a relationship and the talking itself by itself …What do you think? Of course you might not really know, because no one who adds drugs, that is to say, medications of any sort to a talking relationship can parse this out in the end. But that is the unfortunate thing about how our doctors are educated to intervene. ALWAYS they want to prescribe in such situations, rather than seeing a patient more often or checking in with them even if just by phone…Can you even imagine doing it differently and how it might have worked had this wonderful doctor been paid enough to call you the next day just to see how you were doing, and perhaps for the next several days, instead of prescribing a dubiously effective SSRI? I wonder, I wonder…In any event, you really are a born story teller and this was one of your best. So very glad to hear the terrific ending.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Pam W.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is so wonderful to hear from you again. Your attitude and insights are amazing and I always look forward to hearing from you.

      Yes I agree it may not even have been the celexa, the relationship was the key. I felt like an equal, not just a little kid getting looked down at.

      You are correct, why do we ed I cate our doctor’s to just throw pills at people? You can be a good doctor or healer without pills,

      Or like you say just calling to check on the patient, you are spot on once agian!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. johngevans13 says:

    Yes! All I have to say after reading your article is WOW! What an eye opener, eh? I am not a doctor but have seen many for a very long time. Some were good others not so good. I have to read this over again to clearly make a comment worthy enough to compliment your writing (and subsequent victory), as well as keep up with your fans. Nice job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. boboatea says:

    As someone who’s going into the medical field, I’m so deeply touched by this story. I think it’s a shame that some health care providers view their patients as just a quota, a number mark they need to hit. It’s so much more than that, everyone that walks into the office is trusting you to give them answers but also trust you with everything that they have. It’s not the number of bodies that walks in, it’s the relationship you can build with your patients to effectively care for them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am grateful that someone like you is going into the field. They will try to turn you into a robot,y hope is that you have the strength to continue to be you

      Liked by 2 people

      • boboatea says:

        Ahhh, I hope so to. Medicine is something I am passionate about, but not as passionate as being compassionate towards others. Being a physician or health care provider is much more than taking Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and other score core classes. It’s also takes much more than just obtaining that degree on paper. If you can’t relate, empathize with, sympathize for, and build an understanding with your patient it just doesn’t work. You send your patient home with more stress and probably frustration than before they came in. That’s why I give so much props to nurses, they spend so much more time with the patient than the physician does and they build such a good relationship with them.

        Like

      • Compassion is the world’s oldest medicine. I’m not completely against pills, but this is overlooked is the patient doctor relationship

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post with a great message. The state of healthcare now make it harder and harder for good doctors to practice effectively and with good conscience. The time restraints and quotas are crazy. Thank God for the few who still continue to try and for those who entered medicine with a genuine desire to help others.
    Your blog always reminds(?!) me why I entered healthcare in the first place. Thanks for keeping me on track.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had an employee lose it last week. He was a temp, all the office staff was out save for myself. I kept him calm even though he was getting worse, I could see he was trying really hard to fight it but the paranoia was winning.
    Everything in his life was messed up. Just the job was good. He needed everything, from a caseworker to meds to insurance. I tried to tell him, just before he got worse, about where to go for help. We are in a good county, no lines, etc. But he was suspicious of my paper, so I could not hand him the information.
    He was just a kid. I hope they took him to the ER and to a good doctor like that. He will never get better without some stability, without someone taking the time to discern his needs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very good example! The sad thing is if a patient fails, or does poorly we are very quick to say it’s the disease, and that is not always the case, our treatment of patients can cause them to not show up, or not listen, or get worse. But instead we blame the victim

      Liked by 2 people

      • Like you read my mind. He called his mother in the middle of his psychotic break, and she tells him ¨get it together¨ and hangs up on him. If he was not paranoid schizophrenic then I don’t know what you would call it. She got him a ride, but she failed to support him when he was literally crying for help.
        I think he is going to haunt me. One of those people you worry about, forever.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Marie Abanga says:

    Cortland, l was so so moved. Thank you. My brother once had such a good doctor, Daniel Gross was his name, he sang his praises and even had his beeper. Sure the system noticed this doc approach with those ‘luns’, and quickly moved him away.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Geo Sans says:

    Thank you
    ~
    Dr Broeker

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I 1st trained for 1 year at a psychiatry residency program with supervising psychiatrists who practiced like Dr. D. Fortunately, I transferred to another program where I was surrounded by supervising psychiatrists and therapists who were like Dr. Broeker. The medical field needs more doctors like him to inspire a shift in the way medicine is practiced. glad u found it and got the care and empathy that you and everyone rightfully deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • By a stroke of luck I found him.
      I glad you are going into this field.
      They will try to get you to become like them, if you are different and the patients like you and they get better. There will be jealousy and they will pressure you to be of them. Always of you stand out. I’ve seen it a million times.

      People like you are going to be the change if you are steering enough to stay true to yourself

      It’s very hard, I see doctor’s come in all excited to treat patients and 9 months later they are the same as the ones like Dr d

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right about that. And that’s why I quit my job (but still work by the hour so I have control of my schedule and still continue seeing my patients…no way would I cut them off like that). I’m 2 years out of residency and still blazing my own trail to stay true to myself and hopefully inspire other docs. Thank u for posting and sharing your story…it reminds me to stay on course 🙂

        Like

  11. laura says:

    I have a bipolar friend.Her episodes of depression have a physical cause.There’s a chemical imbalance in her brain.As a result,she can be suicidal even in the happiest life circumstances.However,in other people,depression might be a result of emotional abuse.Some disorders may manifest on a physical level,but the real root is in the injured soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lots of people can be suicidal even in the happiest of life circumstances…that is why it is called depression. But there has never been any proof that bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain. What chemical is “out of balance” and what is the proper balance, if so? Can anyone actually tell me? The answer is no, because this theory is bogus and has long been a staple response of 1) Big Pharma in order to teach doctors to use their compoounds, which never have been properly researched or proven to have any non-placebo effect 2) patients taught by doctors and big pharma that they are permanently ill and will never get better and must take these medications for the rest of their lives…how very convenient!

    But being bipolar has become a career of mental illness for a huge number of people in this country and around the world, and it never had to be…but for Big Pharma’s teachings. Mania was never a hugely recurrent feature of the illness and unless you had recurrent mania, you were NEVER considered bipolar in the past. The ramifications of the expansions of the Dx into bipolar II is that not only has it widened the net to capture so many formerly depressed people, but it has relabeled them and also medicated them in ways that now permanently disable them…but this is a discussion i could go on and on about. And it isn’t my problem.

    If somone wants to believe that he or she or a friend has a permanent “bipolar chemical imbalance” who am i to gainsay it or disprove it. I can’t save anyone but myself and god knows i surely can’t save anyone who doesn’t want saving!

    Gby

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree 100 percent. Your insight is amazing.

      Like

    • laura says:

      The missing substance in the brain is called dopamine.Chemical imbalance is the result of medical research,years of study.The brain can be analised now.Science progressed to such a high degree that what’s happening inside the brain or any other organ can actually be seen with the help of a microscope or other medical instrument.Scientists gave this verdict,with no financial expectations.Medications ARE for the rest of her life.I saw my friend’s behavior without them,and it’s not a pleasant site.

      What’s with the “i can’t save anyone who doesn’t want saving”? I don’t get your hostile attitude.Think about the time when there were no pills for mental illnesses.I saw documentaries.Patients were dangerous to themselves and to society.They were tied in chains or to hospital beds.Due to pills,the horrible treatement stopped and their violence is now under control.Pills aleviated patients life and the stigma.They made life a bit easier for the ill.We are grateful for heart pills and cancer pills.So why do we condemn mental illness pills?

      Thanks for your compassion,Pamela! Your moral support for me and for my friend really helped.Feeling suicidal in happy life circumstances is NEVER OK.Depression should be medicated,not hidden under the rug.You can find proof that bipolar is a chemical imbalance in thousands of medical books.Document yourself from the source.Talk to medical professors or students.The information is so vast.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. szbenton says:

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou. Great post. – Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  14. antoniopetralia says:

    Your post is really inspiring. As a first year medical student, we are taught the importance of acting like Dr. Broeker, and this seems like it would be the natural relationship between doctor and patient. But then, in the real world, something goes wrong–as you touched on, doctors are under tremendous pressure to see as many patients as possible as quickly as possible, and unfortunately it takes a very special person to be able to say “No, my patient comes first. I don’t care if this causes me to see fewer patients and make less money.” Stories like yours inspire me, and I really hope that I have the privilege of being a “Dr. Broeker” to one of my future patients just as he was to you.

    Like

    • People like you are the future of medicine. But it won’t be easy. When the business people start realize they are causing the problems. Thank you and I hope you stay strong, the social pressure from old school doctor’s is immense and I’ve seen people get written up or scolded for not seeing enough pressure then the social punishment for being better….stay true

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for this. We are inspired by your post. We are a team of a psychiatric nurse and a therapy dog who volunteer together and we have learned the human animal connection can also be such a valuable healing force.
    Jill añd Junior

    Liked by 2 people

  16. What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As a healer, I encourage people to look for alternative ways to heal the mind and spirit. Our medical system is messed up and finding doctors like the one you speak so highly of is hard to find, indeed. It’s truly a blessing that you were able to find the help you needed and become who you are. Just by reading this blog, I can tell there’s a spark within you that drives you to become a better person than who you were before. Love yourself every chance you get. It’s amazing what we can do when we start healing ourselves. The medication is helpful, indeed. The help is needed, for sure. Many blessings you, my new virtual friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. tfoz says:

    Hi, this was a great post! Thanks for sharing your story. I had a similar experience in grad school when one of the NPs I saw at the school clinic observed something in my behavior, asked some probing questions, and gently refused to give up when I tried to deflect the attention. That was what got me on the road to therapeutic help for the first time in my life. I was about 31.

    Like

  19. Thank you for this wonderful post 🙂 I’ve struggled with mental health issues for over a decade now and one of the greatest things I’ve experienced in this journey is finding doctors/therapists who actually take the time and listen and get to know me. I’ve quit seeing many, many providers throughout the years because they were like how you described Dr. D. And oftentimes, it is that one person who shows that they genuinely care that can absolutely change everything for someone. Finding those few doctors and therapists who care is one of the few things that can give me the courage and strength to keep moving forward in life and in treatment. Once again, thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you for sharing your story as well. this is good to hear so we can start to applaud those who do this and speak out about it so that possibly change can happen.
      It is always good to hear when there are more out there

      Like

  20. Wow. That’s all I can say. What a truly inspiring story. That’s exactly how I feel about my neuro-psychologist. He and my neurologist work together to find meds that help my depression and anxiety, but won’t interfere with medications I’m already taking (I had a brain bleed in Nov. 2011 now suffer seizures and neuropathic pain). We’d been trying to find a psychiatrist in my area accepting new patients with no luck.

    After a major depressive episode the beginning of Sept, I checked myself into my hospital’s crisis unit and was lucky to find one of the female psychiatrists on staff also has an outside practice. She’s taking me on as a new patient because we have similar history as far as brain surgery. 🙂 Frightened as I was those five days in the unit (never been), the sessions helped me a lot, I learned valuable coping skills, and found a psychiatrist that is easy to talk to and LISTENS to me.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s going to do a lot a people a world of good, because like you, I’ve had my share of the 15 minute ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ doctors. Always looking forward to your posts!! Eva

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing your story as well. The difference someone can make by just talking and treating people like humans is amazing.

      Not just doctor’, but anyone who takes time for someone else and listens with genuine concern can change the world

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow. Whoa. Your story is my story. Just need to change the name of the good doc. Thank you for sharing…it helped me untangle some of my own thoughts. (((hugs)))

    Like

  22. Reblogged this on Petite Girls Guide and commented:
    I have had similar experiences with many different doctors, myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Wow, what an amazing post. Thank you for writing. I am so glad you found Dr Broeker. I really do believe that both in medicine and therapy, the relationship is key. It can be truly transformative – so much more can take place where there is trust……

    Like

  24. L's says:

    This, was the most amazing and inspirational entry I’ve ever read so far in my life! Thank you so much for sharing! Ever since I stumble upon your blog, I have been constantly inspired by the posts you’ve written. I am glad that you still had your will to seek help after the nasty encounter with Dr. D. I guess without your desire for help, there wouldn’t be any Dr. Broeker, and thus, you. And without you, I might not be able to remember the fundamental skills we humans are born with – that is to love. And I would never be so inspired to work hard to become a psychiatrist to touch lives and make an impact on my future patients. Kudos to you!

    Like

    • I think we all have people that keep us going. We. all have had Dr broekers in our lives. Then we can be someone else’s Dr Broeker.
      You are inspirational to me with your encouraging words
      When you are a doctor, you will change lives for the better and the world. If you stay true to who you are
      Thst is the hardest part sometimes
      But the forks needs purple like you
      We need to occupy the mental health field and infiltrate it with people like you
      We can only change it from the inside.not by screaming about it from outside the system.
      I am very excited for you and your journey and I hope to hear more about it

      Liked by 1 person

  25. orples says:

    The Doctor you speak of, the one that saved your life, puts me in mind of the story of a doctor in Ohio (I think it was, time fades the facts). Anyway, this old man had pretty much delivered the town through the years, without ever taking a vacation. Most of his patients were extremely poor, so they bartered their services to cover their bills. The doctor was interviewed by 60 minutes, or maybe 48 hours, one of those types of shows because of his unusual practice. This old doctor said he’d never gone without a thing. His house was always painted, his car fixed, dinner was waiting courtesy of the townswomen, most of whom he’d brought into the world.—what a life. What a town. Thank you for bring back fond memories of a memorable story, and congratulations on finding a doctor who takes his profession seriously. Congrats on living to tell about it. I just beat Lymphoma myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a beautiful picture of humanity when Dr. Broeker intentionally engaged with you. What a small gesture with big effect. He didn’t just touch your life positively, but, through you, all the lives you’ve touched too.

    You gave me a lightbulb moment. Christians are aften guilty of sharing the Gospel in the way the first doctor, Dr. D, dispenses medicine– here’s a tract/pill now you have what you need to get saved/get better. It’s like planting a seed and never watering it. The relationship is the water that helps the seed to grow into a plant that bears fruit and plants more seeds. Without nurture/sustenance the seed stays a seed.

    Thank you for sharing your true story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. painkills2 says:

    “I am alive today because of him.”

    You can give yourself a little credit too, you know. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. swamiyesudas says:

    Kudos and Salutations to Dr Broeker. May his tribe increase, and Blessings. And Thank You, brother T, for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Heart-breaking yet ultimately inspiring! Wonderful look at problems many face with physicians intent on money and speed rather than addressing patient needs. Thank you for sharing your own experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. mystiqal says:

    Wow I had a similar experience with psychologists. The first one I went to, back when I was still in high school, just put it down as pre-exam nervousness and gave me relaxing exercises to do. I did them but did not find them useful at all.

    I went to see a psychologist again when I was in uni and this time, after explaining how I felt and saying that I possibly had depression, she made me take a test and diagnosed me with clinical depression. After that she spent an hour with me discussing the options in dealing with it and we agreed we’d take it one step at a time. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

    Thanks for this post. It was an amazing read.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Powerful.. it only takes one… I wish we would all remember that in our daily interations with people. Thank you for sharing your story…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. btg5885 says:

    Thank you for sharing your story in the manner you did. It was even more impactful not knowing it was you until the end. This should be required reading at every medical school. The first doctor exhibited uncaring and uninformed medicine. Dr. Broeker exhibited everything you would want in a doctor. Thanks for sharing this and as you note not only did he save your life, he facilitated the saving of others through you. Well done. BTG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the great compliment. We don’t always se the results of our kindness to others so when we see the results, I feel like it is a responsibility to tell the story so we are all reminded

      Like

  33. A-sheep-LikeFaith says:

    I am so glad you wrote this. I have had such similar experience trying to get help for my self for so many years, and then eventually help for my family. Very frustrating and discouraging. I am so glad you are helping to bring attention to what is broken about our medical system being focused on business process instead of being free to genuinely help people. If you are interested in some really incredible insight from the other side, google Dr. Pamela Wible for her blog and videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. A-sheep-LikeFaith says:

    I am so glad you wrote this. I have had such similar experience trying to get help for my self for so many years, and then eventually help for my family. Very frustrating and discouraging. I am so glad you are helping to bring attention to what is broken about our medical system being focused on business process instead of being free to genuinely help people. If you are interested in some really incredible insight from the other side, google Dr. Pamela Wible for her blog and videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. A-sheep-LikeFaith says:

    http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/ This is her site. She does a beautiful job of addressing assembly line medicine, and trying to help depressed doctors who are victimized by being forced to comply with it, by trying to help them find the freedom to practice a better style of medicine.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Avril says:

    What a lovely story and I’m so glad you were blessed survived and even thrived to reveal the differences between those who listen and are present for you thus creating a relationship and those who are becoming robotic pill pushers of the system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so mich. I do believe if we survive something and have information not generally shared we have a responsibility to make the unknown known, that is what life is abiut, you really made my day for saying this as it is exactly what I am trying to do

      Like

  37. sarahlherbert says:

    Too bad Broeker doesn’t set the standard for care. He should! Your story is familiar to me in so many ways. I’m glad you are sharing a dual perspectives from patient and healthcare standpoints. We need to get that out there because everything you said is true. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the word non-compliant while working … ridiculous. Glad he saved your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Non compliant is a word for control freaks that are in it for the wrong reasons.
      Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Everything hitler did in Germany was legal at the time.

      We need more people like you and broeker people like h should be leading the field not leaving it

      Liked by 1 person

  38. patchworkrainbows says:

    What a great story and a great reminder to us all. X

    Liked by 1 person

  39. […] following exert from takingthemaskoff is an excellent article about the difference between two physicians: one who cares, another who […]

    Liked by 1 person

  40. selfhelp10101 says:

    I’m slowly giving up on the system. They put you on meds and waiting lists and expect you to just “cope”. Samaritans is ok but they can’t give advice just listen and emergency services made me go round the block one time when I felt i couldn’t manage and was phoning all week. I had to chase up delayed referrals, the doctor I am seeing is really indifferent. Made me feel so alone. Ive been feeling quite ok recently but I still get scared about what I could do to myself. I don’t think am that brave to try to end my life but the thoughts are in the back of my head. I’m not going to be phoning any services either though.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Reblogged this on heading2theunknown and commented:
    Sometime I will reblog posts like these to make me look smart.
    Watching The Big Bang Theory has made me interested science just that little bit more than I already was, which wasn’t much of an interest to begin with!

    Like

  42. coastalbeach says:

    Really enjoyed the blog post. I am trying to figure out how to “fire” my psychiatrist, as he just sits there and stares at me while I cry for 20 minutes each time then he refills my prescriptions. I am slipping deeper into depression every day and this post is making me rethink my choice in doctors. I deserve better, I deserve to have someone in my corner fighting with me, not watching passively like some tennis match!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. chukichi says:

    Thank you for this post. I have been having the same problems and I have felt exactly like “a problem patient” because I have changed doctors so many times. I rationally know that other people feel this way, but it’s so easy to feel like I’m the only one. Thanks for the reminder ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Fascinating read and an absolute brilliant approach to writing. Thanks for the follow!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. […] keeping an eye on. The facts are on point and I absolutely adore the stories they tell us, like A Tale Of Two Physicians. A blog I could scroll through reading for […]

    Liked by 1 person

  46. eggertl2 says:

    Saying that we are the most imprisoning country in the world is a gross understatement. Asylums across the country had their doors closed because of the atrocities committed in them. And they replaced them with… Wait for it… NOTHING! So as was pointed out, we use prisons to house or mentally ill population, all for, as was pointed out, MONEY. Forget that many of these people could function in society, and be productive if they could get treatment. Money keeps them in jail, a place for criminals. A lot of them learn “survival” skills from the criminal element. So part of it in a nut shell; asylums closed so no more places for mentally ill. Due to behavior problems, they get arrested. They go to jail, get out, repeat as needed. Only out rage and protest will elicit change. That and people who care.

    Liked by 1 person

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