Have you ever ignored a red flag at the beach to suddenly find yourself in the grip of powers beyond your control?

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| February, 22 2014 | for David DeAtkine Jr, MD, FACE
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Have you ever ignored a red flag at the beach to suddenly find yourself in the grip of powers beyond your control? Sand scraping layers of skin, no contest between the strength of your limbs and that of the ocean, water filing, your lungs? Sorry, red flags up. No life guard is on duty.
For those of us who have multiple debilitating diseases, any day can be a red flag day. No life guard is on duty. You are on your own, unless youre fortunate enough to be one of Dr. David DeAtkines patients.
Dr. David DeAtkine is physician to many seriously ill patients. For us, flag or no flag, hes our life guard. He certainly is mine. My diseases tend to cascade and intertwine in ways that would baffle many other doctors. In addition to some lesser conditions, I have Multiple Sclerosis, Addisons disease, Thyroid cancer, labile hypertension, dysautonomia, vasovagal syncope. Because of this conglomeration, I have to have several specialists, but without Dr. David DeAtkine to act as my primary physician and care coordinator, I doubt I would be here today.
His availability and rapid response time have saved me more than once. I frequently require immediate medical attention for life-threatening episodes. During these crises, I have always been able to either see Dr. DeAtkine quickly or have him call my orders to the ER ahead of my arrival. Dr. DeAtkine is also that increasingly rare bird who makes his own hospital rounds. I am never just thrown to a hospitalist who may or may not have even heard of some of my illnesses, much less treated someone who has to take so many unusually strong medications that have the potential of interacting.
During my most recent trip to the ER, Dr. DeAtkine did not leave the decision making to an ER physician with no familiarity with me. Instead, Dr. DeAtkine came to the ER to oversee my care and made the admission to ICU himself.
During all of my in-patient hospital stays, he always comes to see me multiple times a day. This personal overseeing makes me feel I am getting the best possible care from the doctor who knows me and my medical history. Dr. David DeAtkines knowledge, compassion, courtesy, prompt availability has literally saved my life at times and prevented my becoming a complete invalid at others.
Thanks to Dr. DeAtkines keen eye and depth of knowledge, I am here to play with my grandchildren and hear the inimitable music of their laughter.