Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Memory of Dr. Ralph Conti

Thinking of Dr. Ralph Conti and what a wonderful man and doctor he was. 
He was my children's pediatrician 
He passed away yesterday. 

I dont have the words to express my gratitude and respect and love for this man. 
But I feel compelled to try in a humble attempt to honor him and his life. 
He will be dearly missed. 
I remember the time he walked in and saw me, 
totally overwhelmed and sleep deprived 
and most likely in a state of shock 
over the day to day challenge of having two kids under 2
one a newborn. 
He sat down and looked me in the eyes and said, 

"it's okay to feel this way, you're doing a great job 
and you're going to keep doing a great job."

"But he won't sleep and Im so tired. 
Every night, my anxiety is out of control. 
I am afraid because I know it will be another 
sleepless night and I dont know how many more I can take." I protested in tears. 

"Here's what you do..." he replied,
he then took a sharpie marker 
wrote down specific instructions on that butcher type paper that covers the chairs. 
He tore it off and handed it to me. 
How to feed him, when to feed him, how to help him calm down, 
This wasnt my first time as a mom, but it sure felt like it.
That piece of paper was a gift. 
I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
He then reaffirmed me as a mother before he proceeded to examine Oliver.

Upon examining Oliver he discovered a heart murmur, 
one if those things that is not likely a big deal,
but coupled with Oliver's RSV,
it was important to get him in to a cardiologist. 
Dr. Conti explained everything to me, 
not sugar coating but not exaggerating. 
He told me the level of concern he would have if it was his own son, 
which put it in perspective for me. 
He let me ask as many questions without rushing me 
or treating me like a neurotic mother. 
And then called a cardiologist and arranged for me to go directly there 
so I didn't have to wait and worry. 
(It turned out to be a heart valve that wasn't completely closed yet 
but would be in time and all would be fine.)

I felt like a relative to Dr. Conti.
I felt as if he showed my children and I extra attention because we were family.
But that is how he treated all of his patients and parents of patients. 
His compassion and patience had no bounds. 
He calmed my fears as a mother 
and I trusted him with my children, Oliver and Ginger, 
my greatest treasures in life. 
I believe every mom out there can understand the magnitude of such a gift. 

What a wonderful man. 
RIP Dr. Ralph Conti

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” 
― Shannon L. Alder


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Great to see you're back, even under such sad circumstances. Your words are lovely and a lovely tribute to Dr. Conti. Hope to see more of you (and your writing) in the new year. XO, A faraway fan.