Monday, May 4, 2009

The "Famous" Doctor

We love, love, love the staff at CHLA (Childrens Hospital Los Angeles). When we were first diagnosed at the end of 2003, we were told to head down to L.A. and that "they" would take care of us. And they did! We found loving and caring nurses who would come to spend many a time on the phone with us helping us find our way in the new, dark days of diabetes. One of the nurses came to mean so much to our family that she is actually still on our Christmas card list!

For the first several years, our doctor was Dr. Kaiserman. The most ironic thing is the fact that he and I grew up together. We were in the same elementary classes--on up through high school. We felt a connection with him immediately and felt secure in his care. But as doctors sometimes do, he moved on to private practice and left us to choose a new physician.

We are now under the care of Dr. Jeandron. She is warm and sweet and became a "mom" not to long ago. A few appointments back, we were notified that the doctor would be out on maternity leave and we would need to see a different doctor on our next visit. We were given an appointment with Dr. Kaufman. I was excited because I knew Dr. Kaufman was the head of the endocrinology department there at Childrens! I thought, how great! We get to meet with an acclaimed physician!
So three months later, there we were, heading up to the 3rd floor in the tiger elevators. It all seemed routine as we checked in. C got weighed, measured and blood pressured. Finger poked, pump read, exam room assigned. We waited. I'd send C out the door to peek down the hall periodically. It was quite a wait, as I remember. But then, there was Dr. Kaufman! Yay! She came in and apologized for the wait. I knew the schedule was tight because of Dr. Jeandron being out on leave. We had expected a delay.

Dr. Kaufman sat down and introduced herself (though I knew who she was through seminars and family camp speaker times). She addressed C and asked how things were going--what were her interests and how she liked school. And then all the diabetes stuff was discussed. Numbers were tweaked. Exam was performed. Infusion sites checked. She sat with us for quite some time. She seemed amused at my story of seeing her book in a model house a few months back. We talked about lows that C had been experiencing at school. Our 504 plan was discussed. Prescriptions were written. And then she was gone.

C and I checked out at the front desk, got our next appointment with Dr. Jeandron, and headed toward the tiger elevators. An older gentleman held the door for us. He directed a question to C.

"Did you just have a doctor's appointment?"

"Yes, she said.

"And who's your doctor," he continued.

"My doctor wasn't here today," she replied.

"We got to see Dr. Kaufman today," I said.

The man smiled. I recognized him then. He was Dr. Kaufman's husband, the other Dr. Kaufman. As the elevator doors opened, he stepped out and turned back around. "She's the famous doctor, you know?" He winked and the doors closed. We continued down to level one.

"The famous one?" C asked.

I responded, "I guess so."

C began giggling.

"Wow! I got to see a famous doctor!"

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