I had an incredibly special day recently where Orlando Health was able to arrange a meet and greet for me with 2 of the doctors who saved my life the night of my heart attack. There were actually 3 doctors, but the 3rd has become my primary cardiologist. He wasn’t able to make it to this meet and greet.
I anxiously awaited this day for many months…wondering how it would be – what questions would I ask, what would I say, would I get emotional, how would I react, and most importantly…what would I wear? The outfit of the day was not hard to figure out. I hit a sale at the Converse outlet and found the most perfect shoes (have I mentioned before that I collect Converse?). These were red glittered Converse low-tops. PERFECT! Now, I just needed a cool shirt with a sparkly heart. I googled shirts and found a super cute one with a big red sequined heart that only cost about $185 (have you noticed I have expensive taste?). I couldn’t afford it, and I couldn’t find another one I liked that was cheap enough, so my friend gave me the idea of buying a sequined heart appliqué and making my own. I went to Michael’s, they had one left, I used a coupon, and I bought it. The heart wasn’t as big and humungous as I would have liked, but it was red, sequined, and shiny. PERFECT! I then went to Target and quickly found the perfect shirt that I had in mind for the appliqué. So, I came home and “made” my shirt! It turned out so cute!!
I really loved my outfit so much that I wore it to work all day instead of changing into it after work before going to the meet and greet. 🙂
Neither of my besties or my siblings were able to make it to the meet and greet, so it was just me and my parents. We made it to the Heart Institute on time and met with someone from the hospital who led us to the doctor’s lounge to wait until the meeting was finished. My mom took a pic of me and my dad while we were waiting. Notice that we are both wearing my LoveYourHeartBlog awareness wristbands!!!
And then they walked in. First, Dr. Steiner, followed by Dr. Garcia. At first, I wasn’t sure what to do, but I shook hands with Dr. Steiner and then shook hands with Dr. Garcia who then hugged me. They both said that I looked great and asked how I was doing and how I was feeling. I proceeded to give them a quick update/recap of how I’ve been doing and my progress thus far with cardiac rehab, running, etc. I spent almost an hour talking to them. It was so great. I was able to say everything I had wanted to say to them. They seemed very appreciative and grateful that I had made the effort to meet with them personally to say thank you. We took a few pictures, I gave each of them one of my blog bracelets, and told them about this blog.
I felt so incredible after the meeting. I had been waiting so long to see them, and it was almost like it had brought me some sort of closure. When I was in the hospital, each of these doctors had to leave very soon after my procedure for vacations and I never got to spend as much time as I had hoped to with them. Dr. Steiner is who placed my stent. I remember he left the next day for a vacation, I think. Dr. Garcia is the one who placed my balloon pump and I remember him being the one I was asking questions to on the way to the cath lab that night. He is also the one who took my balloon pump back out (which was extremely painful). He said he was surprised at how calm I was when he took the pump out…but what was I supposed to do? I really wanted the pump out so I could move my leg and get out of bed to go use the bathroom! LOL. The pump had been in over 2 days and I could not move my right leg the entire time for fear that it would rip out of my leg, and I would bleed to death. It made it very uncomfortable. Once that pump was out, I was able to leave ICU and move into a regular room. That pump was so weird.
So rather than bore you with details of everything we talked about, I think I will keep those conversations to myself to cherish. It was such a very special time for me.
I hope this reminds people to always remember their hospital staff, doctors, nurses, etc. when they are being treated. It truly takes an entire team of people to take care of you when you are sick, and they probably don’t always receive the thanks and recognition they deserve. If you have been on the receiving end of their care, please take the time to say thank you, whether it be face-to-face, by sending a card, a letter, etc. Thanking my doctors has been great therapy for me, too, in my healing process. I feel like I have a larger support system out there in my doctors because they remember me and remember that night and what I went through.
And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…2 OF MY 3 HEROES FROM THAT NIGHT: