This summer marks 20 years since the loss of my eyesight. I was an overwhelmed and scared 18, soon to be 19 year old. I didn’t know if my eyesight would stop declining or if it would come back. When I met my current Ophthamologist, he turned my fear into comfort. He offered empathy, words of compassion, but most importantly, he listened. I shed many tears that summer and after. He is my favorite healthcare provider, to which I am pretty sure he knows, as I allude to it every year during my visit.
Well, last year he told me that he was planning on retiring in the next five years. Yesterday, during my yearly visit, he gave me a definite date; 2 years from now. It is funny because he knew that it was going to take years to prepare me for his retirement. It is bittersweet. I told him, I was sad, to which he said, he knows. That is why he was telling me now. Also, knowing my trepidation with medical providers, he said he would find a good doctor to fill his position. I didn’t have to say anything, he just knew what I was feeling.
I wanted to share about the impact this provider had on my life. He is what I continue to aspire to be. The power of listening, empathy, and compassion can go a long way, even if you don’t have the answers/solutions to a problem. Just being there and willing to problem solve can mean a lot to someone. I know it did for me.