I write to you from my eyrie with 13 windows and a whole top floor above one of those coffee shops where everyone really does know your name. I have moved my clinic 3 miles from its original location to my neighborhood ..It was about being closer to my 12 year old late at night when things could go wrong or he just got a little lonely as night fell.Its about him blowing in here off the school bus, bounding up the stairs to tell me of his days doings and his afternoons plans.Its about having a clinic that I can walk to in 15 minutes .
Yesterday my patients dozed in full sleepy sunlight in a room that looks like your living room only it would be more like living over your Mom and Pops store as it is a main street and full of boisterous life from the street below, cafes ,garages, apartment buildings etc.I can hear the periodic thump of the espresso leavings being dumped to be replaced with new ones punctuating the patients treatments.
Yet it is so quiet once you tune out all that life to a dull background hum .So… when you move one of these clinics it seems like your patients move with you and cannot wait to see it all and to find their favorite chair and feel if it feels the same and to provide feedback that aims to make their clinic better and better . One feels blessed and honored by their care and loyalty .It is amazing the ownership that they feel for their clinic.It kind of takes some of the weight off you.
Almost 2 years into CA I wear jeans to work with stretch as I work on my knees.Almost 2 years in I love my Sunday afternoon CA sessions for their quiet snub to Superbowl or organized religion or enforced social occasions that have often usurped Sunday as a day of rest.I like working like a waiter , getting into the flow of greeting, placing the steaming “noodles” in front of patients, and cleaning up the licked clean bowls afterwards, straightening up and doing it all again.
I like the fact that the medicine works beautifully and works as it is intended when it is received frequently.I love the fact that when you move a CA clinic your patients cannot do enough to help the move happen smoothly if you let them know what will be needed . I like the fact that when the doctor- patient relationship is demoted and out of the conversational equation patients can sometimes ask “And how are YOU doing?”.
Its been a recession year or so here in Portland, never a very prosperous city to start with, and it seems like people have had to really reassess what is important , what is superfluous and pare down their lives in many ways .The recession has touched and often hammered their previous lives into sometimes unrecognizable shapes. CA received regularly is seen as cost effective and valuable it would seem as our clinics , many less than 2 years old, are either surviving, holding their pre-recession ground or often ,thriving.
So as that slow drip drip of another watery Portland day signs off and people make their ways home in the inky pre-darkness I fancy they are contemplating,while stuck in traffic, dropping in to their local ..to throw back a few pins with their friends!