Today was the day. The rite of passage for all females who have made it to the magic age of adulthood... the yearly exam with the Gynecologist. It is not the most pleasant of experiences and waiting in the office doesn't make the experience any better. I arrived 30 minutes early, so I knew I'd be waiting a while.
As my appointment time inched closer the lady at the desk told me that it should only be a few more minutes. My appointment time came and went and I was still in the waiting room. After I'd been there about 45 minutes I was called back to start the process. You know the drill: specimen, finger-stick, blood pressure, the dreaded scale, and the questionnaire about your life and meds. By the time I got to a room it was 30 minutes past my appointment time. It's never pleasant to wait, and waiting in a cold exam room (watching the snow fall through the window) in minimal coverings doesn't add to the experience. My immediate thoughts were of irritation and then I remembered.
I remembered the day several years ago when I came into that office for an ultrasound for the very first time. After the initial scans the tech told us that she needed to step out to bring the doctor in. My doctor wasn't available so one of her partners came in to explain to us that our baby had no heartbeat. I had never laid eyes on this woman before, but there was genuine concern and compassion in the way that she handled this tough situation. She sat in that room and cried with me and listened to me spill my heart. She never rushed me and made me feel like this was the most important thing she would deal with all day. I had no doubt that from that point on she was my new doctor.
Dr. Katherine Frederick is one of a kind. She rearranged her schedule to do the D & C following my miscarriage. She was incredibly encouraging through the process of trying again. The second time around she followed me very closely to ease my fears. When we had the abnormal ultrasound with Brinkley she took so much extra time with us. She personally called me to talk about my lab work and spent close to an hour on the phone with Bryan and I. Never once did she ever make me feel like my baby was anything less than perfect despite his diagnosis. Over and over again she has gone above and beyond for me.
With that in mind, I thought about the young mom who may be in the room next door getting a tough diagnosis. I thought about the lady who may be scared to death about an unplanned pregnancy. I thought about the lady that they were working in because something unexpected happened to her. I thought about the young girl that may be there for the first time scared to death of what the OBGYN's office is all about. I thought about the day I was rushed out of the office to be admitted for my emergency c-section.
I thought about how each and every appointment that I have had with Dr. Fredrick has been one that I've walked away from knowing that she cared and gave me the best care that she could. Knowing that she was giving those patients she same great care that she always gives me made me wrap my exam gown a little tighter and settle in to wait patiently (and thankfully) for my turn.