Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Dr. Cori Torres

I was struggling with the business end of running my office- well trained as a doctor, no training as a business owner. Brian offered to come in and have a look around to see if he could make some practical suggestions for me.
He took a critical look and pointed out all the things I could be doing better; things I had never noticed or thought of. It was a bit painful to be faced with that reality but I was grateful. He then asked to take a look at my patient scheduling software. I showed it to him, explaining the problems I was having using it. He brought the program up on the computer and starting messing around with it. After a couple of minutes he said, "Oops." I said, "Oops what?" He said, "Oops, I believe I've deleted all the data in this program. Sorry about that." I was never able to use that program again, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise- it was an awful program and I got a much better one with Brian's help.

Several years later my son was in the hospital having major surgery and he ended up needing an emergency tracheotomy. I was devastated and my son was struggling to handle not being able to talk. Brian had a trach not too long before this and he and I had talked about that experience. I knew how well he handled all of the invasive medical procedures he had experienced. I called him from the hospital to ask for his help with my son, and he and Diane immediately showed up at the hospital. Having them there gave me more comfort than I ever had a chance to express.

The day after he passed away I was in my office working when I got a phone call informing me of his passing. I had patients in the office but needed to take a few minutes to compose myself and went an empty room and closed the door. When I came out, I went to my patient appointment book to re-orient myself. Something toward the bottom of the page caught my eye and I did a double-take. There at the bottom of the page was the name "Brian Nelson". I stood frozen where I stood. Brian had been a patient in my office, but not for quite some time. I looked again and saw there was a patient named Brian and a patient named Nelson coming in one after the other that day. I truly believed in that moment that it was Brian's way of saying "hi" and giving me a laugh. I somehow felt in that moment that he was okay and I should not be sad.

It is hard not to be sad, just because there is now a significant presence missing from this world. Knowing Brian was a privilege. And Brian, I'm sure you're reading this, so I just want to thank you for everything- thank you for letting me know you in whatever small way I did.

1 comment:

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