Friday, 8 November 2013
I do believe that people come into your life for a reason - sometimes for the briefest of windows - sometimes for a longer haul. When I first moved to Victoria - one of the things I put off for awhile was finding a family doctor - knowing the task is never easy. I always felt a lot of anxiety around my interactions with the health care system as I had some experiences early on in my life that weren't exactly positive. But as fate would have it a friend of my sister's happened to know a local woman who was a family doctor and by some stroke of luck she agreed to see me. Meeting Dr. Leah Norgrove has been one of the great gifts and privileges of my life. She has treated with the utmost respect and care - never judging, lecturing or coercing but gently leading by her own example, her generous and noble heart. She and her husband, who is also a physician, have extended their skills globally - teaching and investing in health care in Africa - a cause which they still support. But more selfishly, what is most fortuitous about our relationship is the fact Leah happens to have spent the past 20 years doing double-duty as a palliative and hospice care physician - so at this time knowing I will remain in her able hands and guided through the process by her experienced vision is more of a comfort than I can say. Today she offered to meet with some of those closest to me to help me put down on paper my advanced care directive - a task I have been putting off - as she knows what to say and more importantly perhaps, what not to rule out in a document that is considered legally binding - if it would spare me any pain. It means everything to me to trust her as deeply as I do - to know she would never recommend any course of treatment that would ignore my inherent nature - the power of my will to ride this storm without any effort on the part of the medical system to prolong it unnecessarily. Everyone in my position should be so incredibly lucky, to meet the one person in whose able hands, you can place your life.