I started seeing Dr. Looove in 2005. I’d just moved back to California and needed to see a doctor before I could get a prescription renewed. I picked her office because it was the closest to our condo, and I picked her because she was the only doctor free on the only morning I could miss work. At our first meeting she was calm, confident, and smart. She was only a few years older than me, and I found that appealing. Plus, she was just so nice. I loooved her right away (hence the nickname).
I have put Dr. Looove through her paces. She was the first doctor to confirm my pregnancy with Madeline. I called her sobbing when I was told I was going to miscarry Madeline’s pregnancy. When I was hospitalized at a facility Dr. Looove didn’t have privileges at, she called my room to check on me directly. She didn’t shy away from treating a preemie and was an incredible advocate for Maddie. After Maddie died, Dr. Looove went above and beyond to care for Mike and me. She diagnosed my clotting disorder, helped me find my therapist, and has cared for my other two babies as lovingly as she did Madeline.
I feel safe with her and trust her completely. I can call her with questions, email her in the middle of the night, send her pictures of weird rashes, and she takes it all in stride. I can’t imagine another doctor caring for our family. But unfortunately, the time has come for us to find another doctor.
When we bought our house, we moved forty-five minutes away from Dr. Looove’s office – before traffic. Still, for the last three years (except for the dark time) we’ve made the trek to see Dr. Looove. I always had an excuse to keep seeing her. The one I said most often was that we needed an affiliated pediatrician at Dr. Risky’s hospital, but the real reason is because the idea of taking my kids (and myself) to see another doctor immediately brings tears to my eyes.
The rational part of me completely gets it. I know a lot of people have to drive 60-90 minutes to see their doctors, but we absolutely don’t have to. The medical group Dr. Looove (and all of my specialists) is affiliated with recently opened branches in our town, less than two miles from our house. That solves the medical records transfer problem, one I know all too well. If the kids were sick, we’d only have to spend a few minutes in the car instead of a few hours. If either kid ends up in the emergency room by our house, they’d have a doctor who could round on them. It makes total sense. I’ve even heard great things about the family doctors out here. And yet…
I told myself that, after several delays, James’ one-year well-baby visit would be it. She’d have seen Annie through four-and-a-half years, and James through one. It was a natural place to end the relationship. And it obviously wasn’t personal – Dr. Looove would completely understand.
At the end of James’ one-year well-baby visit, Dr. Looove said, “I’ll see you in three months for James’ 15-month checkup.”
And I said, “…okay.” Because I just can’t do it yet. Maybe after the next appointment.