The Case of Being Totally, Terribly, Thankful!

Today is Wednesday, November 21, 2018. The time is 06:30 (that’s like 6:30 am in the morning) and I have been in the office since about 4:45 am working on my MRI’s, reports, letters, and emails. As I sit here, I am thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have a wonderful family -both at home and here at the office. My kids are growing up, three are in college, and the youngest goes to high school this coming year. They are doing great. At the office, my family consists of five wonderful women (and also my beautiful wife, Barb) who do most everything needed to run this office, along with our new guy, Brendon. My team is not my staff- my team is like family to me. We have our squabbles, we have verbal exchanges that leave some of us quite exasperated, but at the end of the day I think we all know that we made a very positive difference in so many peoples’ lives.

Just a few days ago I saw a woman who we have only worked with four months. The day I met her, she was in such pain that she cried constantly, could barely open her mouth, and the family had mostly given up on her and was ready to institutionalize her for the rest of her life. This is pretty sad for a 50 year old woman. When I saw her the other day, she came in with her hair done up nicely, a little bit of make up on, and she could smile easily. I give thanks to Dr. Darick Nordstrom for all the training in the ALF appliance that he has provided over the years. The ALF appliance gave this woman her life back. She now has a chance at a real future and a real life. Thank you Darick.

I would like to thank Dr. Brendan Stack as well. He was my mentor, my tutor, my predecessor, as well as a pain in the butt! He and I would frequently get upset with each other if we did not agree if the appliance should be 5.5mm high, or 5.4mm high. That’s right folks, we were quite anal about things back then. I miss him now that he has retired from the practice, and yet I am still so thankful for all that he pushed me to do. He told me on day one to become the best ALF doctor in the world and I have striven to meet that challenge. I spoke to him yesterday just to chit chat and he sounded great. I even invited him to come back to the practice- he just  laughed and said those days are over.

At the office I must give special thanks to Venus- MOM (My Office Manager) who keeps me in check and on point at all times- she is simply awesome. To Meghan, very special thanks for handling the schedule and the marketing programs- I think she has the toughest job trying to juggle patient schedules for the times people want. I thank Karina who has been with me since the days of Dr. Stack- she is perhaps the best assistant I have ever had. She takes the time with the patients and shows how much she cares at every visit. Then there is Jessica – a truly excellent assistant who is extremely dedicated to the job and supports all that I do, even though we have our differences, we still care about each other and our team. My third assistant, Ruth, just seems to adore being with our patients- she has become a truly valued member of our team. And finally, we call him the new guy, Brendon has taken the art of dealing with insurance companies to a new level-he helps our patients get the coverage they deserve and advocates for them at all times. I am very thankful for my team- they show what excellence is truly all about.

And to bring this all together – my wife, Barbara, not only takes care of the house, the children, the cars, and the dog but she comes to the office every week to make sure all is running well here as well. This takes pretty much all the stress off of me so that I can do what I do. I cannot tell you what that means, dear readers, to be able to come to the office each morning and just focus on the patients and not have to even think about the rigors of daily life. Heck, I don’t even gas up the cars any more- Barb handles all that too!

So on this day of November 21, 2018, I thank God for all that I have and all that I have become on the day before Thanksgiving. I truly have so much to be thankful for. I wish you all a most excellent holiday with friends and family!