My Favorite Doctor

This year has not been our year for doctors up until now!  We have had a rough go of it with our team of docs.  They are burnt out on us which is so unfortunate because we really need their help.

Just last night, I read an article a doctor friend posted about the burn out rate of Doctors and what a hassle it is being a doctor.  I agree, that like all professions, there is a degree of hassle that comes with the job.  But, I still believe that you can either get sucked  into the fray and complain and get burnt out, or you can remember why you chose the profession in the first place and just worry about your patients and let the other things take care of themselves.  They will, they always do.

Back in September, I had the prompting to write a letter to one of our early doctors.  He was an amazing Doctor.  I had never had one quite like him before and have never experienced that since.  His name was Dr. Rammell.  He is amazing, just so happens he isn't our doctor anymore.  So, I wrote him via Linked In and told him that after 22 years of head scratching, they found the gene that was causing all the kids problems.  I thanked him for being the one to start out us out on this road and literally held my hand through the early years when the kids were so sick.

We met Dr. Rammell on a very warm August afternoon.

Shelbie was two years old. and I was 6 weeks from delivering Spencer.  I was a Relief Society President at the time and was out at a house, clear out in the country, for an afternoon of quilt tying for a needy family.  I was busy working and visiting and Shelbie was running around in the yard, having a great time with the other kids.  She came in to grab a drink and a sandwich.  I took a break and helped her get some food.  She took a bite of her sandwich and almost immediately, fell backwards in my arms.  I had to catch her before her head hit the ground.  It was a force so strong, I nearly fell on top of her.

I swooped her back up and scolded her for being rough when she was sitting on my big, pregnant belly.  Mid scold, I realized that she was as blue as blue can be and her eyes were rolled back in head.  Bits of soggy bread fell from her drooping mouth. I shook her, and screamed at her to look at me.  She was unresponsive.  I fell to the ground, cleared her mouth of food and started CPR.  She wasn't breathing and her heart rate was barely noticeable.

"Call 911!" I cried out.  It seemed like nobody had noticed what was happening.  I screamed for help again and again.  I couldn't figure out why nobody was moving.  15 people were literally 4' away and no one seemed to hear me! No one seemed to move.

Finally, an older lady who was my dear friend rushed to my side and told someone to go get her husband.  He ran in from the garden, grabbed Shelbie, who I was sure had died by now and started doing CPR.  I ran for the phone and dialed 911 and just screamed.  I don't think an audible word came out of my mouth.  I just screamed.

So, long story short...Dr. Rammell was the ER doc who took care of Shelbie and me.  I was having contractions and not doing well.  After everything calmed down and Shelbie was stable, I asked him if he would be our doctor when Spencer was born and that's how we met.

When Spencer was born, he had a condition called Laryngomalacia.  His larynx and windpipe were not developed properly and he continually gasped for air and quit breathing.  In the first two weeks of Spencer's life, he had been in the ER 3 times.  Doctors there kept telling me he had croup.  I knew it wasn't croup.  I recorded the sounds and took the recording to Dr. Rammell.  Within 5 minutes, he was diagnosed and we were sent out the door packing for an emergency drive to Primary Children's Hospital.

When Spencer was 9 years old, he began having a series of horrible seizures.  One right after the other.  This went on for a couple of days.  After one long seizure that happened in the car, I raced to the ER.  When Dr. Rammell arrived, he said we needed to do a spinal tap since he feared that Spencer had Meningitis.  The only problem was, he didn't want to do it.  He hadn't done one before and he didn't feel comfortable.

I remember as clear as can be that moment when I took his hand and told him through the tears of a mother, that he could do it, that I would be praying for him. I know he was nervous.  He went in the room where Spencer laid in a drug induced coma, and closed the door.  From around the corner, I could see through the window, into the window of where the procedure was taking place.  The mirror on the wall reflected both Spencer's face and Dr. Rammells.  I stood there shaking like I have never shook before and prayed, like I have never prayed before.  I watched the sweat drip down Dr. Rammell's face as he took care of Spencer so carefully and gently.  I could see him talking to Spencer, probably sharing calming thoughts with him.  I knew that Dr. Rammell was filled with the Spirit.  Within just a couple of hours, Spencer was life flighted to Boise where he stayed for two weeks with Encephalitis.  Three people that week were diagnosed with Encephalitis.  Two of those three people died that week.

Dr. Rammell never gave up on us and always treated us with so much love and respect.  I just really wanted him to know the difference he made in our lives after all we had been through.

Shortly after Sam was born, Dr. Rammell closed his practice and just worked the ER.  Now, he no long does ER work but is one of the providers at the University.  I miss him so much!

I never heard back from him after I wrote the letter to him in September.

Just last night...before I went to bed, I checked my email and there was a letter from Dr. Rammell!! I was so happy!  He was so kind.

Dear Kathy, 

I don't believe I have checked into Linkedin since September so I just barely read your letter. Thank you for letting me know about the last few months; I am so sorry at the devastating news and diagnosis. You and your children have been through so much, and through it all you have been there for them. I have always been impressed at your devotion and love for your children. You are a very talented woman but you have always put them first and foremost. This life is full of so much - tragedy, triumph, pain, joy, suffering, beauty, ugliness, mystery, wonder, etc. but in the end - love emerges. I love you and your family and as a physician I only wish I had a cure and could heal. In your circumstance, the fact is there is only the loving arms of the Savior that can truly heal. Maybe not a cure, but healing of the soul and heart. Ruth most definitely remembers you (even though she might not have recognized you at the store). You and your family will always have a special place in my heart and you all shall forever be in our prayers. Do not be so shy next time paths cross... 

He is one of those people who left their fingerprints on my heart!  
Dr. Rammell is proof that a little love goes a long ways! 


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