Thursday, June 7, 2007

Goodbye Dr. P

Dr. P and Drew (18 months)
Today is a sad day. Our beloved pediatrician is leaving and today is her last day. Our entire family has formed a strong bond with her. When I was pregnant with Drew, Dan and I interviewed her. We both liked her and decided she would be a good fit for our family. Of course at that time we had no idea just how much time we would be spending with her. We thought we’d see her for well-baby checks and maybe the occasional cold or ear infection. We ended up seeing her quite often, especially in the months after Drew’s first two heart surgeries. I think we saw her every two weeks in the beginning, in addition to the myriad other appointments we had scheduled with specialists.

I don’t know if it’s because she was there with us from the very beginning, when Drew was diagnosed as a newborn. She was there to help guide us through one of our most difficult life experiences. She followed our progress at UCSF and then checked on us during the next 6 weeks at UCD. She answered our questions and made important decisions. She flawlessly organized all the authorizations required for his appointments with cardiology, endocrinology, ENT and immunology. Every time we were in the hospital she would come see us. She would allow for extra time for our appointments because she knew I would have lots of questions and wanted to make sure she had time to answer them. She never made me feel like I had a stupid question. She indulged my irrational fears. Once Drew needed a breathing treatment and I knew a child who had the same condition who died during a treatment. I told her I was scared about that and so she stayed in the room with us during the entire treatment, holding Drew’s DVD player and talking with us, to make me feel better. I’m sure she knew he would be fine, but she took the time to go above and beyond what was required of her as a doctor. Just recently Ava had her one-year appointment and I confessed that sometimes I’m afraid that maybe Ava has an undiagnosed heart defect. Instead of making me feel silly, she said “of course you are” and she checked her oxygen saturations for me (they were fine).

Perhaps the biggest reason we love her so much is because she loves Drew. And he loves her. Every time we go to the doctor he asks if we’re going to see Dr. P. Once we’re in the waiting room he wants to know where she is, and as we’re walking back to our room he yells out “Hi Dr. P!” She really gets how special he is, what a loving boy he is and as his mother I really appreciate that. I think sometimes doctors can get lost in an interesting medical puzzle and forget that there is a sweet little boy underneath all of that.

I think part of what makes her such a great doctor is that she has four children of her own. Which is part of the reason she’s leaving. She wants to go somewhere with a slower pace, somewhere where she will have time to go to their baseball games. And although we will miss her incredibly, I can’t argue with that. At our last appointment she gave us her new address and phone number and told me to call if I ever have any questions. I hope she meant it, because I plan on it! She told me to send pictures and keep in touch. She promised her replacement is just like her. I certainly hope so, because she is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill.


kate (es frio) said...

i'm glad you had (and have) dr. p in your life, and i'm glad i got to meet her too. i miss you loads. love ya!

Tiffany said...

Hi, I some how stumbled upon your site and read about your son, Drew. I have a 19 month old son with CHD repair (VSD, ASD, Interrupted Aortic Arch, and narrow aorta), DiGeorge Syndrome, and mild Cerebral Palsy(caused by hypocalcemic induced strokes after his heart surgery). You are the first family I have read about with similar diagnosis. I would love for you to email me with some insight to the next 19 months. Drew is a beautiful child. He appears to be completely healthy to an outsider. That is the same for my son. You can view his site at and type in harrisondeanhartgraves I would love to know how you created your blog too. God Bless your family and I hope to hear from you. My email is

rose said...

hi andrea! i'm sorry your losing Dr P but i know your new Dr will be great too. you know why? because God's in control! He knows what you need before you do, He knows your fears before you do and He knows and loves and cares for drew MORE than you! it's in His hands-trust Him. can't wait to see you-miss you bunches!

Jessica said...

We switched peds after Dylan was born and it was the best thing we ever did....not to knock our initial doc at all, but our current pediatrician is the
I'm sure everything will work out just as swimmingly for you and Dan and your babies my dear.

The Sheridan's said...

Ok Andrea so I TOTALLY know what you are saying about Dr. P. Remind me to tell you about our appointment with her. I LOVED HER TOO!!!! And I think Tommy really appreciated her being "sane". And YES... I do believe that she truly means for you to keep in touch with her she told me the same thing about you guys keeping in touch. Again remind me to tell you about our appt with her. See you soon!!!! Can't wait for you to meet our little Lexi. Oh, who is your new Ped going to be? See you soon.
Tommy, Melissa and Lexi:):)