A few weeks ago I went for my annual eye check as we all do. For some reason, I always find this much more traumatic than any other appointment, I think it’s maybe because I don’t fully understand it and you could have a problem that you didn’t know about until they take the photos and break the news. Anyway, because of this, Mum always comes with me to these appoinments, I take the day off work and afterwards we have a day of fun in London.
The other thing about these appointments is that you NEVER see the same person, unlike diabetes clinic where I always see my LOVELY prof. On this occasion we went through the usual rigmarole, usual sight test (perfect vision thank you very much :)), drops, photos and then we were called through for the Dr to have a look for herself. The Dr we saw this time was in fact an associate specialist and she was just there on a locum basis as a couple of the usuals were on their holidays. She looked at my eyes and confirmed that everything was in order and then, she said something amazing. To her, this will just have been a standard comment and she will never know the affect it had on us, or more specifically on Mum…
‘I just want to congratulate you both on living for 24 years with diabetes -that can’t have been easy and you are doing an excellent job’
In those few words she managed to make Mum well up so I swiftly removed her from the clinic and we sat down at which point the tears fell. Mum told me how hard it had been having two young kids with T1D, Dad working all hours as a junior Dr, Grandparents who lived across the English channel so unable to help and very little guidance from anyone. She felt like they were just ‘winging it’ and so desperately wanted us to feel that it wasn’t a restriction on our lives. To have an independent person verify that she had indeed done a good job was more than she could take!
I therefore just want to say a massive thank you to that lovely Dr for saying those few small words and remind all HCP’s that a good bedside manner can go a looooooong way, it costs nothing to be nice and you can literally make someones day by acknowledging the effort they put in to remaining healthy.
Following the slight emotional outburst, we trotted off to enjoy a lovely seafood dinner at Bonnie Gull seafood shack in Fitzrovia. I am a sucker for Cornwall and this place feels like you are in the heart of the seaside county rather than in dirty old London. We indulged in some champagne, lobster, a lovely cheeseboard (for me) and some sort of chocolate loveliness (for mum) before I put her, a little tipsy, back on the train back up to Liverpool.
Love you more than you will ever know Mum and thank you for everything, always xxx