Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My Doctor

I firmly believe that one of the most important keys to a person coming through a transplant (or any medical ordeal) successfully is having a good doctor.

I have been seeing my hepatologist for 4 years now. I look forward to seeing him. I am excited when I run across him wandering the halls here at Vanderbilt. He is never too busy to stop and have a conversation with me.

I will never forget how he broke the news to me that my tumors were growing. He didn't call me. He didn't send an e-mail. He tracked me down at work, sat down with me, and talked to me for 30 minutes. I didn't get a, "You need to make an appointment," or, "My nurse will call you," but a genuine, father-daughter like, "Amanda, this is what's going on...." And, no, I didn't get a bill for that half-hour. :o) He joked with me. "You'd never make a good MD," he said. "I can read your thoughts by just looking at your face." But he kept it real. It seemed to me as if I was the only person in the world in that instant that mattered to him. You don't find many doctors that really care like that.

But the facinating thing is that he is able to do that every time I see him. He is an important man on this campus. I know he's always got places to go and people to see, yet, when he sits down with is patients, he has the uncanny ability to be focused only on those patients.

Honestly, I can't say enough about him. I believe he is a man of faith, although he has never told me that. He has encouraged me to pray about my health, about my marriage, and about what God would have me do in regards to the liver transplant. He also told me at my last clinical visit with him that I will be able to travel the world again soon for mission work. I don't ever remember telling him that missions is so special to me. He said, 'You didn't have to tell me, I could already tell. It's so imporant that we work together to help people out, but you already know that, don't you?"

Isn't it amazing how God works?

BTW, if anyone in the metro Nashville area needs a good gastroenterologist or hepatolgist, just let me know. I'll hook you up with my guy. :o)


At 9:17 AM, Blogger Matt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Matt said...


Amen to the comments about a good doctor. My GI doc. is awsome, and I didn't even know that doctors could be like that. He is like what you described, and his name is Dr. Howard Mertz (at St. Thomas).

At the end of the day, all most medical decisions actually come down to whether or not you trust your physician. Right now, I would walk through fire or put on leeches if Dr. Mertz told me it would help.

I had no idea that this level of care was avalible. I had good doctors before--one's with whom I was perfectly happy. But, he and a select few, raise the bar so high that you don't even know that it is possible until you experience it yourself.

I am glad that you have such good doctors. Continue to shout it from the rooftops too; that is what I did--and continue to do--about Dr. Mertz.

Thanks for the post; it was wondeful. You remain in our prayers.


At 10:57 AM, Blogger Tony Arnold said...


You just wrote a desciption of a man letting Christ be incarnate through himself.



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