Tom Droege died last week. He was a special guy, thoughtful and outspoken. Also a real brain, rocket scientist, and intrepid, in that he ventured into areas of conversation where few dared tread. For example, Tom was active in Acor.org’s PPML listserv (prostate problems mailing list), where he described his final illness in detail. Tom related that he got a ton of feedback about this — albeit privately.
Tom was also very solicitous of women. Once he asked the ladies in the group for suggestions about things to do to make his wife’s life more pleasurable.
Finally, Tom was street-smart, and one of his tips, which you absolutely must internalize, is to Honor your Doctor. Deuteronomy-style, it would go something like this:
“Honor Thy doctor, so that Thy days on earth may be lengthened.”
I’m stretching the word “honor” a bit. By this I mean that you should engage your doctor, not bore Him or Her. A boring patient is a forgettable one. I try to entertain my internist, for example, by bringing a lot of jokes with me to my appointments. Sometimes we don’t get much done because of the laughing.
Anyway, you would do well to hearken unto these words that Tom Droege once wrote:
“My urologist gave me an introduction to a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. This was pretty early in the game, but I think after the RP. I did consults with both of them years ago. They all talk to each other, often getting on the phone while I am in the consultation room so I can hear what is discussed.
“This even includes the general practitioner. So there are four doctors that talk to each other. Today, I happen to be in a lot of pain, so my medical oncologist increased my pain medication, and referred me to the radiation oncologist to see if there was anything he could do.
“One reason they all talk to each other is that I have gotten them interested in my astronomy project. Thus when something like the Persiads [meteor showers] come up, like tonight, they get a chance to talk about me. Much is up to you. Your doctor will try to cure you. You should try to entertain your doctor so he remembers you.”