Some of you know that I have recently become a member of the Hendersonville Rotary Club; an honor that I do not take lightly. At the beginning of every meeting we are encouraged or challenged (or both) with a word by Reverend Keith Gunther. This morning he spoke on servant-hood and one line he said has stuck in my mind all day. “Be willing to serve even if it means being treated like a servant.” Does that just stick out and punch you in a face like a brick like it did me? I can honestly say that, while I feel my calling has been to serve, I don’t always do it with the heart of a servant in Christ.
A little over a week left to go at FHC and lately things have been a struggle…something a few of you might especially notice. Without a doubt things have been busy. Many of you are trying to get in to see me before I leave; refill requests are coming in by the bucket-fulls; and labs are not being called back in the most timely manner. For all of your waiting and frustration, I apologize. I am but one person, and, unfortunately for her, I have one nurse right now. We feel your pain and your irritation just the same and we leave the office every night later than everybody else trying to not save everything until tomorrow. Indeed, we do leave the office but I don’t leave my work.
I carry each of you home at night.
I come home to two beautiful baby boys who I have missed terribly during the day. (Did I get that diagnosis right? Did I remember to call in that prescription?) I have missed taking them and picking them up from mother’s day out and putting them down for naps. (I really need to write that letter to her specialist. Don’t forget to look for his x-ray to come across the fax machine.) I come home to a wonderful husband who listens to me and supports me and gives everything he has to make sure our house is taken care of for our family. (I can not remember if I gave them that handout I meant to give.) I get a few hours of family time that is a mixture of dinner, play-time, bath-time, and a few stroller walks or visits with friends. (Don’t forget you have that meeting tomorrow during lunch.) They are in bed at 9 (hopefully!) and then I go to work. Notes, labs, prescriptions; the leasing company, the insurance agents, the supply catalogs…furnishings, paperwork, accounting, web-site development. (Did I sign up for that life support class yet?) If I’m lucky, I’m in bed at midnight to get up at 5:45 so I can try to finish a few more charts, sign off on more paperwork, write a few patient letters. (I need to sit down and review more about his diagnosis so I can be sure we aren’t missing anything else.) I leave in the mornings before anybody is up and usually arrive at the office before anyone else; I am still carrying each of you with me.
Somebody asked me early on if I thought this venture would be a lot more work for me. Obviously going out on my own will be more work because I will be responsible for both the business and the employees along with my patients. But, honestly, it will not be more work in regards to what I do for my patients. I am primarily alone in this already where I am and take care of other people’s things in the process. Yes, it is going to be a lot of work but at least I will be working hard for myself and I hope that my team and my patients will recognize this. I’m here to tell you that I don’t always serve in a way that is pleasing to God and I was reminded today of that.
(Mommy, you wanna play Smash Brothers with me.) And, thus another 20 minutes is spent laughing with my son and not taking care of you.
If you can believe it, there are times when I am not perfect. I do forget to refill prescriptions; I don’t always write letters the very day I see you; it is a rare day that I am on time for your appointments. My heart is to be your family physician, not just a doctor who controls your blood pressure and diabetes. I want to sit down with you to help you figure out why we are having trouble controlling them and research ways to get just the right options for you. I want to teach you and involve you so that the decisions made are not simply my telling you what to do but are something you feel is a joint decision based on collaborative efforts. All of this takes time and patience and recognition that I can’t get it all done in one day. But, I have to remember that at the heart of it all is my desire to serve; and, no matter how much is on us, no matter how we are treated by you or others, my service should be for Christ and representative of Him. Lately I have not always been that way. I pray that you will forgive me when it is not and that He will remind me how to return to it when I do not have it.
I am not saying all of this for any kind of recognition or affirmation. This is not for pity or pride. I simply have a lot on my heart right now and have been through a few things in the past few days that have been heart-breaking. I want to share with you a little part of me. I am just like you with struggles to juggle life; balance work and home; and serve, even if it means being treated like a servant.