Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD
As I learned more about the coronavirus, I realized something about myself: I never would have taken a job that left me to stay home for days at a time. I could cope. So could my doctor, who had taken a temporary job with my former employer and was spending three days a week on the phone consulting with lawyers and other lawyers as I lay in bed on a Saturday afternoon.
I’ve watched the situation unfold at my doctor’s practice with mounting alarm. The people who are my friends: we are all worried about the virus and the government response. And, in all likelihood, the only true heroes are our health insurance companies, in the U.S., and those who are trying to help. But the people who are our patients and work at the office are our heroes! They can and will help their patients. I am convinced that if the virus were to strike one of them suddenly, they would help with a hug from their chest or a reassuring word. In those moments, we’re not just friends, we’re family.
The doctor who called to see how I was doing is my best friend. When I am in pain or overwhelmed, she will check on me and give me an empathetic ear. She takes over my case and takes care of me. She knows the ins and outs of healthcare to save my life. And when my insurance provider cancels my doctor, I have no choice but to find someone else.
My doctor says I am not in shock. I am in fear of not being able to help my patients and losing my job. I am thinking about the people in my life who have had to hide their own medical conditions. I’m thinking about the friends who have lost their jobs and our healthcare system. I’m thinking about the families who