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shoregal45
@shoregal45

Posts: 126
Joined: May 02, 2017

How Loss Affects You

Posted by @shoregal45, Fri, Feb 23 10:24pm

I am a 72 year old single female, living alone. I have been a patient of my Internist/Primary Care doctor for over 26 years. Last week I received a letter from him that he was retiring today, February 23, 2018. The letter had been sent out in January but was lost in the mail. It so happened that I called his office for an appointment and his secretary told me. I was able to see him this past Wednesday for a Wellness exam (otherwise known in the day as a "Physical"!) and discussion of my future plans. Ever since learning this I have been crying off and on. During my appointment I asked that we leave "Discussion" for last. We proceeded through my exam and tests happily chatting away. It came time to "Discuss" and I looked at him and said, "I'm devastated". He stared back at me and I again said "I'm absolutely devastated" that you're leaving. I think I shocked him a bit and he apologized; I told him how happy I am that he is retiring and will be able to relax and do things that he never had the time for. We talked about possible routes for me to take in finding a new doctor/hospital. I gave him a letter to read and he said he thought I'd want him to read it later and I shook my head yes. It was a thank you for his years of care. Then the time came for me to leave. He shook my hand and I kissed him on the cheek and told him how very much I am going to miss him. He was a bit sheepish and had a slight tear in his eye and shook his head yes and when he opened to door to leave I heard a low heavy sigh.
Today he surprised me by calling with test results (which are also printed on MyChart for me to access). I was very cheerful and we discussed the results which were good and I again wished him well and he reciprocated by "Be well, Jane". I hung up the phone and burst into tears and am still crying 9 hours later!
I've had several type losses over the past two years that have affected my life. Right now I am alone, feel abandoned, frightened, so so sad. With the medical community changing the way it has into big business conglomerates, doctors' time and office hours have diminished. It has become a business, not a doctor's office. My doctor was "my main man" who was there when I needed him and/or would refer me to the particular specialist(s). When I think I am never going to see him again I panic.
I met him 26+ years ago when referred by a neurologist. Before, I had been seeing all types of doctors to get a diagnosis that none of them could give me. This doctor took all sorts of tests and I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. He cured me and it was a very emotional time for me finally knowing what was making me so sick. He also was very instrumental for me to obtain disability from my firm.
I do not plan to rush into anything – meaning getting a new doc right at this moment. I will do my homework and either go back to his group of doctors (prior to that for 24 of my years with him he had his own practice) or select one closer to my home. There are also City MDs near me should I get sick and a good hospital. His office was uptown Manhattan and it took time and cost to make my visit. He was so smart and caring that it didn't matter and I felt I was where the best doctors were – in the big City and not one of the outlying boros. (That's because I had issue with my GP before the Lyme.) I mentioned these added factors as I believe they have impacted why I feel the way I do.
My question is How Do I Cope – What do I do to ease my grief, because that's exactly what it feels like. I did have a psychologist tell me that it was indeed grief – a big loss- and it will take several weeks to adjust to the new whatever. I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks, Jane.

REPLY

@shoregal45 I am sorry for your loss and you are spot on about this being no different from losing someone to death. A therapist told me that when I stopped drinking 12 years ago and smoking 9 yrs. ago that I would go through a grieving process over both, even though they both badly needed to be out of my life. Habits are also like close friends. I can't tell you how to ease the grief as we all grieve differently. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the stages that science says we have to go through in the process and I would suspect that every one of us spends different amounts of time in each and the last two may envelope some of us for seemingly endless amounts of time. The best book I have read about dealing with grief is Plan B by Sheryl Sandberg. It details what she has experienced since her husband passed from a massive heart attack at age 45.

@shoregal45 Hello Jane,

I certainly feel for you. You are losing an important part of your support system and that always hurts. I have lost two excellent doctors to retirement. When I found out about their plans, I sent them a retirement card and added a word of thanks for their help over the years and congratulations for this new beginning in their life. I also asked for recommendations to a new doctor that they comfortable referring me to. It is very hard to replace a long time relationship with a doctor who has been of help to you, allow yourself to grieve and move on to your new doctor.

Did you get a referral to a new doctor?

I would enjoy hearing from you again, please keep posting!

Teresa

@shoregal45

Because I live in a rural area, keeping therapists is a real problem. I was a client with Lutheran Community Services for 8-9 years, and they hire therapists cheap so they can do their one year internship here, after which, they waste no time moving to greener pastures. I had to start all over with a new therapist every year. Then the hospital hired a therapist who would have a very limited number of clients. They stayed a little more than a year, but not much. After the last one, it took them 18 months to fill the position. Robert came last April, and has indicated that he plans to stay here. I don't know if I can handle losing another therapist and starting all over again. I have to go through the painful process of telling my story. I hate doing that.

My pcp is approaching retirement, and I'm not looking forward to finding another one. He's been a really good doctor for 12 years.

Our daughter-in-law is a nurse practitioner, and works in a private practice with 3 doctors. She only schedules 3 patients an hour. In her previous positions she saw many people in their homes. I think I'm going to talk with her and see what she says about finding a new doctor. I've seen a couple of doctors at my doctor's clinic as a walk in appointment and been pleased with them. I haven't yet asked my pcp how soon he's going to retire, but he might not know at this point.

Grief is a personal thing. We each process it in our own way and at our own pace. I hope that you are able to find a doctor with whom you're comfortable and compatible, Jane.

Jim

@jimhd Will your doctor of 12 years have a referral for you. Change is not nearly as easy in these senior years-I find this to be true.
@shoregal45 I hope things are improving if only a little bit. Losses can be hard.

@jimhd

@shoregal45

Because I live in a rural area, keeping therapists is a real problem. I was a client with Lutheran Community Services for 8-9 years, and they hire therapists cheap so they can do their one year internship here, after which, they waste no time moving to greener pastures. I had to start all over with a new therapist every year. Then the hospital hired a therapist who would have a very limited number of clients. They stayed a little more than a year, but not much. After the last one, it took them 18 months to fill the position. Robert came last April, and has indicated that he plans to stay here. I don't know if I can handle losing another therapist and starting all over again. I have to go through the painful process of telling my story. I hate doing that.

My pcp is approaching retirement, and I'm not looking forward to finding another one. He's been a really good doctor for 12 years.

Our daughter-in-law is a nurse practitioner, and works in a private practice with 3 doctors. She only schedules 3 patients an hour. In her previous positions she saw many people in their homes. I think I'm going to talk with her and see what she says about finding a new doctor. I've seen a couple of doctors at my doctor's clinic as a walk in appointment and been pleased with them. I haven't yet asked my pcp how soon he's going to retire, but he might not know at this point.

Grief is a personal thing. We each process it in our own way and at our own pace. I hope that you are able to find a doctor with whom you're comfortable and compatible, Jane.

Jim

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@jimhd Would there be a conflict of interest for you to see a doctor in your daughter-in-law's practice? I have been through periods where I only saw a nurse practitioner and was very happy with the attention and professionalism I received. She handled all of the practices diabetes patients and did the education, diet, etc…

@jimhd

@shoregal45

Because I live in a rural area, keeping therapists is a real problem. I was a client with Lutheran Community Services for 8-9 years, and they hire therapists cheap so they can do their one year internship here, after which, they waste no time moving to greener pastures. I had to start all over with a new therapist every year. Then the hospital hired a therapist who would have a very limited number of clients. They stayed a little more than a year, but not much. After the last one, it took them 18 months to fill the position. Robert came last April, and has indicated that he plans to stay here. I don't know if I can handle losing another therapist and starting all over again. I have to go through the painful process of telling my story. I hate doing that.

My pcp is approaching retirement, and I'm not looking forward to finding another one. He's been a really good doctor for 12 years.

Our daughter-in-law is a nurse practitioner, and works in a private practice with 3 doctors. She only schedules 3 patients an hour. In her previous positions she saw many people in their homes. I think I'm going to talk with her and see what she says about finding a new doctor. I've seen a couple of doctors at my doctor's clinic as a walk in appointment and been pleased with them. I haven't yet asked my pcp how soon he's going to retire, but he might not know at this point.

Grief is a personal thing. We each process it in our own way and at our own pace. I hope that you are able to find a doctor with whom you're comfortable and compatible, Jane.

Jim

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@gman007

My son and his family live in Indianapolis, so not an option for me in Oregon.

Jim

Losing someone who has helped you through your life for the past 26 or so years is difficult. Grief is definitely the right word for it. It feels strange because the person is not dying, but rather getting to go into a new phase of their life where likely good things will happen for them. So along with your grief you might feel a little guilt for felling the grief. That shouldn't happen, but it can. That is OK. One thing I found with grief is getting back into a routine, as so often said, "A new normal" does help. So finding a doctor, a physician's assistant, or a nurse practitioner can be helpful. Is there anyone else at your doctors practice that you can see? I just recently had to find a new doctor. My doctor of 25 years (also my parents DR.) is getting ready to retire. There are a lot of reviews, biographies etc on the internet for Doctors. I found those helpful. Best of luck on your endeavor to find a new doctor. I hope you end up with someone wonderful.

@gman007

@shoregal45 I am sorry for your loss and you are spot on about this being no different from losing someone to death. A therapist told me that when I stopped drinking 12 years ago and smoking 9 yrs. ago that I would go through a grieving process over both, even though they both badly needed to be out of my life. Habits are also like close friends. I can't tell you how to ease the grief as we all grieve differently. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the stages that science says we have to go through in the process and I would suspect that every one of us spends different amounts of time in each and the last two may envelope some of us for seemingly endless amounts of time. The best book I have read about dealing with grief is Plan B by Sheryl Sandberg. It details what she has experienced since her husband passed from a massive heart attack at age 45.

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Thank you Gary. It's not the loss of a "love interest", but the person who was my strength and not having to worry knowing my health was being taken care. I went cold turkey on the cigs 28 yrs. ago and no problem.

@jimhd

@shoregal45

Because I live in a rural area, keeping therapists is a real problem. I was a client with Lutheran Community Services for 8-9 years, and they hire therapists cheap so they can do their one year internship here, after which, they waste no time moving to greener pastures. I had to start all over with a new therapist every year. Then the hospital hired a therapist who would have a very limited number of clients. They stayed a little more than a year, but not much. After the last one, it took them 18 months to fill the position. Robert came last April, and has indicated that he plans to stay here. I don't know if I can handle losing another therapist and starting all over again. I have to go through the painful process of telling my story. I hate doing that.

My pcp is approaching retirement, and I'm not looking forward to finding another one. He's been a really good doctor for 12 years.

Our daughter-in-law is a nurse practitioner, and works in a private practice with 3 doctors. She only schedules 3 patients an hour. In her previous positions she saw many people in their homes. I think I'm going to talk with her and see what she says about finding a new doctor. I've seen a couple of doctors at my doctor's clinic as a walk in appointment and been pleased with them. I haven't yet asked my pcp how soon he's going to retire, but he might not know at this point.

Grief is a personal thing. We each process it in our own way and at our own pace. I hope that you are able to find a doctor with whom you're comfortable and compatible, Jane.

Jim

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Thanks Jim. In the past 12 months I've had to find new opthamologist, psychiatrist, therapist and now internist. I was in the process of pushing myself to therapy and then this happened. I would love to be able to get a doctor who besides Internal Medicine could monitor my Antidepressants. BTW, just heard about those "3 patients in an hour" – that's because in case one is late or a no show they don't waste the time! Hate the new structure – it's all business – the almighty dollar.

Liked by Parus

@kdawn32

Losing someone who has helped you through your life for the past 26 or so years is difficult. Grief is definitely the right word for it. It feels strange because the person is not dying, but rather getting to go into a new phase of their life where likely good things will happen for them. So along with your grief you might feel a little guilt for felling the grief. That shouldn't happen, but it can. That is OK. One thing I found with grief is getting back into a routine, as so often said, "A new normal" does help. So finding a doctor, a physician's assistant, or a nurse practitioner can be helpful. Is there anyone else at your doctors practice that you can see? I just recently had to find a new doctor. My doctor of 25 years (also my parents DR.) is getting ready to retire. There are a lot of reviews, biographies etc on the internet for Doctors. I found those helpful. Best of luck on your endeavor to find a new doctor. I hope you end up with someone wonderful.

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Thanks kdawn. I've done much research on line and will continue. I could always go back to his group of doctors (he sold his practice and went with them for the past two years) and chose one and if I don't like he/she keep searching.

Dear shoregal45, I do grasp and apprehend your misery and deep sadness. We small sisterhood of aged single females know sorrows of which few others experience. I'm passing on a quotation that gives me comfort and perspective during my difficult moments. It is by Edward Fitzgerald {1809-1883} from The Rubdyydt of Omar Khayydm:
The Moving Finger writes: and having
writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a
Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word
of it.

In other words—our deeply comforting relationships are transitory and we mortals are hapless and miserable at their passing. We, also, must move on. There are many useful suggestions presented herein to help find wholeness again. I hope you do.

@jeannegordon4

Dear shoregal45, I do grasp and apprehend your misery and deep sadness. We small sisterhood of aged single females know sorrows of which few others experience. I'm passing on a quotation that gives me comfort and perspective during my difficult moments. It is by Edward Fitzgerald {1809-1883} from The Rubdyydt of Omar Khayydm:
The Moving Finger writes: and having
writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a
Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word
of it.

In other words—our deeply comforting relationships are transitory and we mortals are hapless and miserable at their passing. We, also, must move on. There are many useful suggestions presented herein to help find wholeness again. I hope you do.

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Thanks jeannegordon4. That's beautiful.

The thing with the hurt of a loss is it stays with us. In time the sting of loss does not hurt as much, but still returns at times with floods of loneliness and despair.

I feel qualified to talk about my experiences with loss. I lost my beloved mother to the dreaded ALS. Time truly heals. And you have to know that a strong love like a mother for a son, for example, is too strong to end at death. (Energy can be neither created nor destroyed – physics principle). Give it time, surround yourself with a supportive community (like your church, friends, family) and give it time and know your loved one is a soul in heaven who knows what you're up to and helps you (as you would for your loved one if you went first). hang in there. Everyone grieves differently. Wishing you peace and joy. Suggestion – Read anything by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Feel better!

@parus

The thing with the hurt of a loss is it stays with us. In time the sting of loss does not hurt as much, but still returns at times with floods of loneliness and despair.

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True.

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