Thanksgiving Letter to my Doctor

Coming from Romania 15 years ago, Thanksgiving was not a big thing for me. I didn’t quite grasp the holiday. My husband cooked and celebrated, and I helped and observed it in a detached way.

11 years ago, it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I was 22 weeks pregnant; I was waiting for a test result. Earlier that day, I called the MFM group that ran the test, but they had left for the holiday and did not return my message. It was a big threshold for me because a few years back this test came out very bad at that point in my prior pregnancy. Back then, I did not learn about the test results for two weeks, and I ended up very sick and lost my baby.

It was almost getting dark, around 4:30 PM. I was resigned not to learn about the test result until Monday. I was still pleasantly content as I just brought over my parents from the airport. It was the first time they were visiting. I remember that moment the way we all remember where we were and what we did just before September 11.

The phone rang, and you were on the phone. You told me the test came up fine. You wished me Happy Thanksgiving and hung up. Everything changed. I had a reason for being thankful for kindness and selflessness. That’s what Thanksgiving is!

It feels like a small gesture, and I know it wasn’t. It wasn’t because it probably wasn’t just me, it was a list of worried patients that were waiting for answers. It wasn’t your responsibility; it was someone else’s test and problem. Like everyone else in the US, you probably had other things to do on Thanksgiving Eve’s afternoon, and you still took the time to make that call.

Happy Thanksgiving!





Posted in: e-patient stories | how I became an e-patient | net-friendly docs | positive patterns | pt/doc co-care




3 Responses to “Thanksgiving Letter to my Doctor”

  1. Alexandra Albin says:

    That is perfect!

  2. About two weeks before a previous Thanksgiving, I received (really I went and got my report!) which indicated that my many lung mets were disappearing, several months after my last high dose interleukin treatment. The mets were due to kidney cancer on the move, threatening my life. But I knew what it meant. This coming Thanksgiving would not be my last–I might see at least one, maybe two more such Thanksgivings!

    That was 12 years ago, and prior to every meal, I am blessed to be able to remind the guests of the joy of life given back, not just to me but to my family.

    • Ileana Balcu says:

      Yay for good health news before Thanksgiving! And hugs for those that get bad news on Thanksgiving! I got my diagnosis on Valentine’s Day!

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