It matters to me that you look at my chart before you walk into the room.
I appreciate that you use my name and look me in the eyes.
You remember my sense of humor, how many children I have and that I am a writer.
I’m a frequent flier MRI patient and you know this.
You’re happy to see me and I’m happy to see you.
I appreciate that you took time to pull up my medical record and familiarized yourself with my history, medication dosages and acknowledge with sincerity how it’s been 5 years of stable scans.
Your smile, compassion and empathy are more impactful, effective and lasting than the sedation you will soon be administering me to get me through the MRI.
You know I’m grateful you’re so good at finding my über small, deep veins and don’t mind as I utter “fuuuuck” when you put my IV in and it hurts.
I appreciate that you see the fear in my eyes. I appreciate that you know the magnitude of what these scans can reveal.
I appreciate that you don’t tell me it will be ok and instead squeeze my hand.
You affix the cardiac monitors and remember with a chuckle about my low blood pressure as you monitor my vitals.
As I lay on the table with the hum of the MRI just behind me, you gently put my ear plugs in, place foam wedges around my head to stabilize it and pull the cage over my head. You hand me a tissue to wipe my eyes as a tear falls down my cheek. I feel no shame.
You appear to understand as you place the panic button under my three layers of warm blankets into my hand, tuck the blanket in around me and start to administer my sedation.
I drift away watching the sky and clouds through the skylight safe in your hands.
I am grateful.
The stress of these scans looms over us every three months as a nearly insurmountable emotional obstacle. As a patient, I come to you as a fragile shell of myself and entirely vulnerable. Your compassion, empathy and kindness puts a few more layers on my shell, leaves me feeling less vulnerable and more supported.
Neither you, nor I can change the Piece of Shit or how it behaves, but you have made the path I walk on this journey much easier to walk every three months.
It was important for me to take time after my meeting today at Emory University Hospital and track you down. It was important to me to see you when I wasn’t your patient. It was important to me to sincerely thank you and I am grateful for your hug.
Thank you Bromley.