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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The right person appears at the right time

I went to the doctor today for my pain management appointment. I was assigned to a new physician's assistant (PA) named Denise. After finding out yesterday when the office called to remind me of my appointment that I would be seeing someone new (this has happened for my last 3 appointments) I was worried. But since I knew it was a woman I was also hopeful that she would be as good as my old PA (also named Denise). In my experiences I have much better luck with female doctors or PA's than I do with male ones. Anyway she is a really nice lady, who actually listens to her patients. She did a physical exam, which I was expecting since this is the first time we've met. She also told me that the reason I am scheduled for an appointment every 3 months instead of every month is because I am listed as not being at risk for addiction, diverting my medications, or anything like that. I already knew this about myself because I am very careful to follow all the rules and only take my medication as prescribed, but it was still nice to know that my doctor's office knows that I am not a risk as well. So it was a great visit just for the new PA, but something happened in the waiting room that made it a truly wonderful and touching visit.

I was stitching in the waiting room like I usually do. Usually the wait can be a couple hours so stitching keeps me occupied and helps keep me from getting annoyed that I have such a long wait time. This lovely older woman came over to me. Her name is Grace. She asked to see what I was stitching. I was working on the Delft Card for a friend in the UK to sell and raise money for cancer research. She said it looked wonderful then asked to see the back. I knew right then that she must be a stitcher because only a stitcher would know that the back of a piece is important. So I showed her the back and I was nervous! With her age I knew that she had most likely learned from her grandmother and mother, add in her accent and I knew she had learned from an older generation in a different country. The older generations, when teaching younger people to stitch, emphasized that they do it correctly, including making sure the back is as neat as possible. Knowing all this I was nervous to show her the back of my work, that it may not be up to her standards but she told me my back was perfect! She started complimenting me on how neat my stitches were, how neat the back was and complimented my grandmother and mother for teaching me. I had to tell her that they did not teach me, that I taught myself. She was surprised but said I obviously learned well.

She then told me how her mom and grandmother taught her to stitch when she was a little girl, back in Panama. She told me she used to stitch a lot and tried to teach her 3 daughters, but none of them were interested. She asked me to put some pieces in the County Fair in October and mentioned how sad she was that there was so little needlework being shown at the fair now a days. I told her about the ribbons I got in the Cochise County Fair back when I lived in Arizona. She said she wasn't surprised because my stitching is so neat.

She went on to tell me that she still had many patterns that belonged to her mother and how she kept them because they were her mother's. She talked about how much they meant to her and had tears in her eyes while talking. Then, she blew my mind! (i'm still very pleasantly surprised!)

She wants to give me those patterns! Can you believe it? Some of her most prized possessions and she wants to give them to me! I still can't believe it.

She said many of the patterns belonged to her mother and grandmother, but since she doesn't stitch anymore and her kids aren't interested, she has held on to it all hoping to find someone who would treasure them to give them to, someone who would use them as well. I almost cried! I will certainly treasure every single chart! I am so touched that she would give me the patterns that obviously mean so much to her, specially since we literally just met! I started to cry a little and couldn't thank her enough. I know how much those patterns mean to her because they were her mother's and her grandmother's. She said that she had watched me stitch for a few minutes before approaching me because she wanted to see if I was really enjoying the stitching or just doing it to get it over with. She said that I appeared to be a true stitcher, one who stitches for the joy of stitching. I told her how much I enjoy stitching, that it is very important to me because I can't work, so stitching gives me something to work for. I kind of see stitching as a job almost, I may not be able to work but I can make beautiful pieces of stitching for people. She understood. So we talked for a little while about stitching, her coming to the U.S., friends, family and lots of stuff. She gave me her phone number and took mine. She said she will call me in a couple of days, after she gets the patterns together. Her husband asked for directions to my house and we talked about being transplanted Yankees living in the south (He is from Maine and I am originally from Mass.) They were great people and I really enjoyed talking with them. I am hoping this is the start of a friendship.

I am hurting pretty good after the poking and prodding, but I wanted to share this story before taking a nap. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

Knowing that someone has read my posts and commented on it, helps in many ways. The biggest two being that it helps ease the feeling of being "alone" and that no one could possibly understand. Secondly, it reminds us that others truly do care and that just feels wonderful!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog, it really does mean a great deal to me and is helpful too!