“Can you make me a coffee and cream when I get there?“
The text flashes on the screen of my phone and I smile. Replying yes, I eagerly await the arrival of my visitor on a Saturday night. He appears shortly after dusk, the sound of his car rambling up the long driveway sending me to the front door. Swinging it open, I rush outside to greet him.
The hubbub of gregarious laughter, the exchange of hilarious facial expressions, and of course, coffee, ensues. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that my guest also is my doctor. As unlikely as it is to have a doctor willing to travel more than an hour each way to my home for a visit, it is even more unlikely that I would eagerly anticipate his arrival. My typical aversion to doctors morphs in the company of this unique individual.
Over the past few years that I’ve been working with him, we’ve naturally cultivated a friendship. He is unassuming, wildly unconventional, and viciously hilarious, and laughter is certainly a big part of his medicine.
His style of osteopathic treatment pairs well with my nervous system, as does the side dose of comic relief. After he has thoroughly enjoyed an oversized cup of coffee, he gently places his hands around my head. We continue our conversation, which is punctuated mostly by his singing, my bursts of loud shrieks, and brief interludes of quietude. I realize how long it’s been since I’ve laughed like this.
His intuitiveness makes him an especially skilled practitioner and a perceptive friend. Skimming over some of my calamitous health events from the past several months, we deviate to lighter subjects. I marvel at the authentic lightheartedness and companionship I feel in his company. I feel accepted and even celebrated, and I wonder what kind of world it would be if more doctors shared this unconditionally loving perspective.
I also realize that friendships don’t always appear in the packages we expect them to come in. Camaraderie and connection intersect across age, background, education, location, and so on. This is a fact, but somehow, I tend to make a lot of stipulations about what friends should look like. I often find myself feeling lonely, thinking there are few people in this life who I can count on. The arrival of my doctor from miles away, who greets me with open arms and an effusive heart, serves as a beautiful reminder that I am not alone.
The laughter, the coffee, and the healing flow for hours. While he is perched on my couch, we continue to chat after the treatment has ended. Saturday night at home with a friend never felt so good.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.