Everyone dies, but it is still a shock to me when someone I know very well passes away. It is more shocking for some reason when said person happened to be one of your doctors.
Some of you may recall my little adventure with a bloody nose that happened in January 2005. That was followed with seeing my Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor for the first time, Doctor Dennington. I finally had surgery on my nose in April 2006 which was performed by Dr. Dennington. I received word today that he passed away in a rafting accident over the summer. He was 57.
When my nose finaly stopped bleeding after my 3rd trip to the ER, I went to my normal physicial (as instructed by the hospital) to have the packing removed from my nose. However, my doctor informed me that I needed to see an ENT doctor and immediately refered me to Dr. Dennington. Fortunately, Dr. Dennington had an opening. Dr. Dennington was a nice, professional doctor who was pretty effecient in what he did. Unfortunately, the act of walking into his office was $120 followed by $580 to have the packing removed from my nose (I found out all this later when I had to pay most of my medical expenses out of pocket…gotta love the medical insurance nightmare scheme Senator Ted Kennedy helped bestowed upon us many, many years ago).
While Dr. Dennington’s bills were a great shock to someone who actually had to pay them (as opposed to having some insurance company pay everything save for a small co-pay or detuctable, which is what I was used to), he quickly saw some problems with my nose and recommended surgery. If it could help, I was all for it and eventually after I had some better insurance (meaning the majority of the nasty costs were paid by someone else, though I still had to pay a ton), I went in for my surgery.
I never wrote about this after my surgery, but despite the warning that Dr. Dennington gave me about my nose possibly being in great pain, there was no pain. In fact, once the packing was removed from my nose and all of the clots cleansed from my nostriles (thanks to a nifty nasal attachment to a waterpic that the good doctor gave me), I breathed well through my nose for the first time since I was a child.
I had to see Dr. Dennington a lot after my surgery…too often for my tastes since I don’t like having to go to see a doctor. However, he attempted to make the visits as quick and easy as possible for my sake. We would talk about different things while he did his exam or while . I felt comfortable enough to joke with him about how much a trip to see him ended up costing me and he had no problem with that, even joking about it himself.
After a while, I stopped seeing Dr. Dennington because there was nothing else he could do for me regarding the ongoing nasal crusting issue I have. That said, I will miss Dr. Dennington now that he has passed on. He was a good ENT doctor and he was well-rewarded financially for that, enough so that he could do what he loved on a regular basis — head to the great outdoors with his family.
My thoughts and prayers go with his family as well as to his office staff, whom I got to know quite well.