I wrote an email to my primary care physician. I was not feeling ill, and I did not need a checkup or a prescription refilled. I didn't have a question about anything. My email said:
"This is just a thank you note. You are doing such a good job of keeping me healthy and I thought I should tell you so. I've had a marvelous summer, and I feel great. You play such an important role in my health, and I'm really glad I had appendicitis because that's how I met you."
I wrote it partly because I thought my doctor might like a change from the usual litany of complaints that must clog his Inbox. But the main reason I wrote is that he has been great. He gently tells me that I need a few tests, and then he helps me navigate the options and the solutions if what he suspects is true. He found my CLL; he found my parathyroid condition. And then he found the right specialists to correct or manage each condition.
He's old enough to have practiced medicine before managed care when it was easier to be a doctor. I know he sees more patients than he would like to see, and I am very glad that he hasn't given up and left my healthcare provider.
He is just one of the many people who have contributed to my well-being over the years. I probably should write a lot more thank-you emails.