About Catherine and A Patient Life

I’m Catherine, a getting-wiser-by-the-day woman who’s finally decided to share some of that wisdom.  Best to get it all down before I forget everything.

One of the pearls I’ve learned along the way is that everyone has a story. If you and I sat down over a cup of coffee or a bottle (or two) of wine, and I told you the whole story – not just the medical part – you would laugh, shake your head in amazement and maybe your throat would tighten up. You might reach out and pat my hand to let me know you cared.

My story is different from your story. If we opened that second bottle of wine and you told me yours, I, too would laugh, shake my head, and try to let you know that I was there for you.

As a writer, I appreciate story. And, on this site, I hope to hear yours.

A Patient Life is the story of how I’m dealing with what life has thrown at me – including some health conditions that just won’t go away.

Good health was something I enjoyed, but did not appreciate. Then, a few years ago, a tsunami of symptoms hit. I described them to a friend, who assured me, that yes, all of these were signs of age. Sigh. She had experienced them too. Um, ok, so did they hit you all in one week? I can deal with getting older, but isn’t that supposed to be a gradual process?

So, I’m learning about being a patient. And about being more patient. That’s a hard one. My mother would get so exasperated with my impatience when I was a kid. Raising three teenagers and sending them out into the world brought me up to speed on that issue. Now, dealing with a few chronic conditions has taught me even more.

Scheduling appointments. Getting to know yet another specialist. Waiting for test results. Research. Physical therapy. Blood draws. Trying to educate family. Figuring out which friends can just let me vent. Listening (patiently!) to folks who tell me exactly what I need to do to get better, because, after all, they read it on the Internet.

A patient embracing patience.

I’ve inherited a few things from my dad, most of which I’m grateful for. The chin and fair skin, not so much. The sense of humor? Oh, yes, thank you for that! It has kept me sane – giving me a proper perspective on my place in the world.

Because, one more thing I’ve learned is that the world will most certainly continue spinning, no matter what problems or pains I’m facing. The sun will come up, the trash truck will be here on Wednesdays, traffic on the 405 will be awful, and baseball season will start every April.

I realized this long before I became the the target in a never-ending game of medical dodge ball. Dealing with some Intense Life Issues led me to my life motto…

no crises – only adventures

Anything else you need to know about me?

I was raised by a pediatrician and married a medical student. How’s that for giving me a unique outlook on the medical world? It influences my approach to my health issues, and gives me a deep, deep appreciation for the physicians who care for me. My passion is improving communication between doctors and patients – in fact in my other life I write web content for physicians and medical facilities. Check it out at thepatientengager.com.

A little more insight comes from an unexpected place. Dating sites (yeah, another story) often ask you to list five things you cannot live without. Mine include

  • the love of God, family and friends
  • my morning walks
  • a fresh beeze
  • Vin Scully
  • my Kindle

Oh, and knowing that Han shot first.