Even before I made the decision to start interviewing other doctors, I knew that I needed to tell Dr. Uterus why I was searching for greener pastures. He deserves to know and I deserve the opportunity to lay it all out for him. What I didn’t fully understand was that I also needed the release of telling it like it is.
Because, before now, I had been too polite, too forgiving or too preoccupied to mention a concern here, or a tear there. And, how many times did I want to turn my head to the side and ask him in a rather conspiratorial whisper-y tone, “why did you think it was a good idea to share your practice with a high risk OB?” As if, just between us doctor and patient, he would admit, that yeah, maybe it wasn’t a great idea. Of course, I wanted to ask to be able to tell him how much it bothered me. I could really care less about his answer.
Initially, as I began to write, I had difficulty not allowing my pent up feelings spew forth onto the page. Pretty quickly I knew that there was no way getting around it, so I let myself throw the words on the paper and then gave them some time to cool down. Several days later, I went back to visit them and knew that the words needed to be said, but didn’t need to be read. And, while I took out the more pointed passages, just the act of putting the words down on paper, ostensibly to the person who needed to hear them most, was incredibly cathartic.
I have finished the letter and I think that it has the right mixture of honesty, detail and feeling. It isn’t ugly or accusatory or angry. No bridges were burned or even mentioned. I simply laid each instance out methodically, like a grocery list, and said, this is how it made me feel. Whether it changes anything for me or for other patients, present or future, I doubt that I have that much sway. But, I do know that I was able to tell it like it is and that felt really, really good.
Now, all I have to do is send it.
Update: I printed it, folded it carefully, placed it in the addressed envelope, sealed it up, put on the stamp, marked it “Personal & Confidential” and walked it those 20 yards or so to the box where it now sits, waiting patiently for the mail delivery lady to swing by and swoop it away on its journey. He should get it in a day or two. I wonder if he’ll call about it. Maybe he’ll apologize, but it’s too late for that, I’m afraid.