Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Man that Saved My Life

A Story About an Amazing Doctor:

On Saturday I went to the Peoria Great Strides Walk. I've done the walk in 2009, 2012, 2013 and now 2014! I love the Peoria Walk site, It has a great route right along a very beautiful & prominent street. One side of the street are architecturally amazing and grand homes and on the other side is the river. What a gorgeous route to walk! This year Peoria added our Team Sign to the Route! CF2 (well CF (squared)) but the 2 always ends up next to it (even in my blog). It's hard to type CF and 2 to the second power! It technically stands for "Courageoulsy Fighting Cystic Fibrosis" I was beyond thrilled when I saw the official sign on the route!

Pic on right: Mom and I & the Team Sign! Andrew and Sarah came too though :-)

Peoria's Walk is always really friendly too. There was a photobooth, UniqueTwist (makes balloon creations), a Drum core and little girl with CF's dance class performed! I also got to see one of my two main nurses this year at the walk! Love my Nurses, I'm glad they got honored at the CF Gala a few years back!  I also got to meet up with Colleen (a fellow CF Blogger) and her husband Tim. I was very excited to meet Anna, her 2 month old daughter! Colleen was a speaker at the Walk too and she gave an amazing speech, discussing how Kalydeco and  new treatments have helped her to reach a level of health she needed in order to become a mom. Also, my favorite line that I think really hits home on our mission for Great Strides was when she discussed how while she is taking Kayldeco it only pertains to 4% of the CF Community. And now we are striving to find equivalent meds for the other 96%.

I also got to touch base with the Cordinator about our June 27th Princeton Walk!!! I can't wait til people can sign up!

But the MOST EXCITING thing that happened at that walk was that I ran into this man:

My CF Pediatrician! This Doctor was the most motivated, inspring, caring doctor ever! He pushed me to be better by encouraging me and helping me. I know for a fact I would not be here without him! I once wrote a essay on him, the essays had to be our heros. He is my Hero and will always be! Growing up I had lots of medical problems CF, Cerebral Plsy, Seizures, Severe Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Liver Issues, and more which I wrote short blurbs about! But he handled them as we needed to and I was never upset about it. He'd discuss everything with me too. He didn't just talk to my parents like some doctors. Ever since I was little he'd give me a dollar for each pound of weight I put on. One time I ended taking like $8 at clinic. He was beyond thrilled. How many doctors do you know that will pay their patients to work hard at their health? He did it because he cares, he loves us. When we lost CFers I know it was especially hard on him. We spend 1 full day at clinnic every 3 months. I'd spend usually 2-3 hospital visits per year (each a couple weeks long) in the hospital. He always visited, every single day! He'd bring some of us food, like pizza or chinese. He gave us special permission to order whatever we wanted to eat. He made sure not only were we healthy, but happy! When I went to clinics we dicuss my life too. If I was in any new clubs, how classes were, my friends, any boys? all that stuff. He's more than a doctor. He was a role model and a hero!

At the Walk When I saw him... I couldn't believe it. He spotted me and then rushed over and I gave him a huge hug. He asked how I was. I said my lungs have been the same stable % for basically the last few years, my weight was at my highest. I told him I was doing really well and that I even got my stomach tube out and that I could finally keep my weight up! He joked repsonding " Even without my dollar bribes huh". haha "yep" I could tell he was very proud of me.

I remember when I was 13 and I was 45 lbs and very short, under 5 foot. I needed a stomach tube. I couldn't gain weight and I was too weak and little to do any type of sport or real activity. I was very nervous about it (not the surgery part, surgeries I've had), I was scared to be a freak with a stomach tube. Would it show? Could I swim? Would it hurt? How long would I have it? so many ?s. He had discussed it with mom and dad. They discussed it with me. Doctor Chatrath answered all my questions, being completely honest. It will hurt, not sure how long it will be in, etc. He told me the nergatives, but also the positives. Gaining weight, growing taller, being able to play more, dance more, being overall a lot healthier. And honestly letting me know it could have a huge impact on how much I got to do!  I said I wasn't sure, I needed to think about it. We drove back after Clinic that day. That night I made the decision I needed to man up and do it! Be the freak with tube, I wanted the best chance at life. So I told mom they needed to do it quick before I chickened out again. She called Chatrath and I was scheduled the very next morning. Best decision ever. 

Hahahaha, which is ironic now considering my current issues & upcoming surgery! lol
But thank you Doctor Chatrath for always being there and being honest.

I continued talking to him about other things, including telling him that I started a Great Strides in my Hometown. He asked when it was, and says he's in the area around that time of year (he's retired now and travels a lot) and that he'd love to come and that I need to make sure to give him the information! I was beyond thrilled. I know he may not be able to, considering he still is a very busy man. But even the fact he wants to and is hoping to made me smile ear to ear.

Before I left I got that picture with him and he asked me to text it to him. So I did and he said he saved my number! How cool. It really is liking talking to a family member or dear friend you haven't seen in years!  I've written about him before and the Docs after him!! He kept me as his patient as long as he could. Being a CF Pediatrician, 23 years old was pushing it. I didn't want to switch though! It's a tough concept for people to realize. Our doctors our like family sometimes, we owe them everything. I know I've had some pretty scary past medical reactions, surgies, and illnesses; but I was never scared. I knew Chatrath would do everything in his power to keep me alive and healthy.

Honestly, I feel like Doc. B has these same attributes, I just don't know him as well yet. But 3 years compared to 21 is very different. So lucky to have these doctors!

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