Yesterday I went to a place called mastec here in Kalamazoo and got myself a pair of fake boobs.  For any ladies out there I did not know this but they have bras for immediately after a mastectomy with little holders for the drains.  Amazing what they have out there.  I picked up a very pillowy pair of fakes for right after a mastectomy.  It seems somewhat normal except for the fact that they are a bit higher than the originals and I feel like my arm bumps into them when I move around.  I guess when my breasts were higher they were smaller since that would have been pre-baby.

I felt a bit silly when I went into mastec because I was crying when I went in.  Not about my breasts, but about something else.  My family doctor….the one I rave about here all the time is located in the same plaza.  I had stopped over there to say hi to Sadie and see if Dr. Al had any recommendations for some of the pain I’m experiencing post surgery.  When I walked in the office I saw all these women I didn’t recognize.  I asked if Sadie or Bonnie were there.  Sadie was and came out.   I said “wow!”  Dr. Al must be hiring!.  She totally stunned me when she said that his practice had been bought out by Borgess and a new doctor would be practicing and that Dr. Al would be on an indefinite leave of absence.  She said she didn’t know much more than that.  I asked if I could call him and she said his phone was disconnected.  I cried.

Do you ever meet someone in your life that inspires you to do more, be more, think deeper.  That was Dr. Al to me.  I had only begun to scratch the surface of natural living when I heard about him.  When I first met him I was so happy that he didn’t pick on me for my selective, delayed vaccinations or my co-sleeping or my extended breastfeeding.  He has always been very encouraging of my parenting style and has been especially supportive recently when I found out I had cancer.  He has begun to feel like a family friend. 

So this news hit me hard.  Thankfully the ladies at mastec knew him as well and were in shock at the situation too.  So I cried to the woman there as she began to pull out bras for me.  What a sight.  It took me a few minutes to gather myself together. 

Word must have gotten to him that a crazy bald lady was crying in his office and I got a call from him this evening.  He is OK!  Yay!  He has struggled with chronic fatigue for several years and private practice is quite draining so he has decided to take a break.  He plans to do some traveling and rest.  He is unsure of his future plans but it might entail coming back to work with Dr. Boxer.  Which I think was the original plan anyway.  He won’t commit to that.  Which is OK….I’ll still hope:)

From what I gather private practice is getting more and more difficult.  Dr.  Boxer was able to persuade Borgess to have this traditional small “patient based” office with 1-2 doctors verses the larger pro-med type model of care.  It looks like private practice, but isn’t exactly….but I guess insurance companies are making it harder and harder for private practice…not reimbursing as much, etc.

I say all this because I know a lot of you are local friends and you see Dr. Al as well and I want you to know he is sad, but needs to take a break.  He was not run out of the practice.  He didn’t do anything wrong.  He also recommended I give Dr. Boxer a try,  She does not seem to have the homeopathic/herbal background Dr. Al does, but she does desire a patient based model of care enough that she refuses to work in anything but smaller private practice.  And I believe his original plan was to work with her to begin with.

Once again change is hard.  I’m going to miss him alot….as will many of us.


3 thoughts on “ramblings….

  1. Shana Wartner says:

    For Dr. Alfaraz,

    Sending you peace and light for your journey. You treated more than my physical body. I want you to know our discussions regarding stress and spirituality help me to continue searching for a deeper meaning and calmer spirit. And your kind and respectful treatment of Sydney was so refreshing and appreciated.

    Of course, if you are ever return, we would love to have you as our doctor again. You will be greatly missed.

    Shana Wartner – mother of Sydney, age 4

  2. Deb Kloosterman says:

    Dear Jen,
    Oh it is so hard when a favorite doc. leaves! ……You might have heard about Dr. Pollens at Bronson Family Practice? He is wonderful….also supportive of extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, natural health etc. He is also a cancer survivor! It can be hard to get in as his patient…but I tell people that if he isn’t seeing new patients….go in and see a doc. who is {next best on my list is Dr. Wise…Oh you would love Nan, the PA too!}…there are others that are good there too….but after seeing whatever doc. they can get you with…THEN make your next appointment with Dr. Pollens….you can always say you want to get to know the rest of the docs. in the practice..hee-hee! But, maybe he does have openings……! Thinking and praying for you…love, Deb

  3. justenjoyhim says:

    I was just looking through some of your posts — I don’t know Dr. Al, but I do know Kalamazoo. I graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1983! Loved it there!

    ~ Judy

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