“Uh oh.” I didn’t like what I was seeing. You see, I was experiencing symptoms such as unusual bleeding…I’ll spare you the rest of the details.
Just as anyone would do, I looked for a specialist who would be able to help me. In my case, I consider myself lucky to be a patient of an outstanding professional – Dr. Abraham Pollack M.D. whose practice is Madison Breast Imaging. Not only is Dr. Pollack experienced and a top doctor, he goes far beyond the scope of his duties as a medical expert and gives his patients much more than one could ever expect. For you see, he gives his heart – you can feel his utter sincerity each time you come to his office.
I called his office, only to hear a message informing me that Dr. Pollack was away. So, I tried Dr. Pollack’s personal cellphone. Amazing, isn’t it? But this is the kind of man we are talking about. Dr. Pollack had once given me his cell phone number so that I would be able to contact him if the need arose. Well, this was definitely the case here.
“Hello,” the doctor’s voice came over the line.
“Hi, this is Mrs. N. calling, I really must see you as soon as possible,” I began, and described my symptoms.
“Well, Mrs. N., what you’re describing is definitely not an emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately. Your current symptoms should resolve themselves within the next day or so. Under normal circumstances, I would suggest you see me today. However, since I’m actually talking to you from the airport on my way to Israel to celebrate the bar mitzvah of my grandson, I can’t have you come to the office today. So, in case things don’t settle down, please call me at any time. And of course, I’ll be back in two weeks and I want you to come in and see me.”
After that conversation I felt comfortable enough to resume my busy routine and jumped right back full force into my housekeeping, cooking, cleaning etc.. However, my body was sending me messages that forced me to slow my pace. And then it was time to call Dr. Pollack again.
This time, the doctor sounded very concerned.
“You need to see a doctor, right away. I am going to make arrangements for you to see someone I trained myself, someone I trust to deal with this delicate situation. I am going to call him now and get back to you with the information.”
Each time I play back in my mind what next occurred, I am amazed at Dr. Pollack’s course of action – and this is the point of my story.
The phone rang. Dr. Pollack again. The devoted doctor at his best.
“Mrs. N., I want to let you know that I couldn’t arrange for the other doctor to see you; it seems he is away as well. But, I don’t want you to worry. I am coming back to the States and want you to come in to the office tomorrow.”
There. simple. Just like that.
Tears sprang to my eyes and my words stayed deep down in my throat, refusing to make their way up.
“Mrs N.?” Dr. Pollack was waiting.
“I..I…I…But weren’t you supposed to stay in Israel for two weeks and spend time with your family? And now you’re cutting your trip short for me? This is unbelievable. I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”
Then it dawned on me; I can convince him to stay. This is insane, I was thinking to myself, that he should actually do something like this – just because of me? So I quickly shifted gears.
“Doctor, please don’t come! How could you?”
And listen to his answer:
“Mrs. N., first of all, I already checked in, so it is too late. And I want you to know, I really would not have any peace staying here and worrying about you. It’s more worth it for me to come and see you. Let us both just daven and hope that all should end well.”
My brain refused to register what I was hearing and tried to make sense of what the doctor was actually telling me.
“But what about your wife? Your kids?” I asked.
“Actually, Shelly encouraged me to do what we both feel is the right thing. As for my kids, what greater lesson can a father give over to his children? Instead of trying to teach them about sacrificing for others, I can actually be a living example!”
Wow! I was stunned. Completely awed. Whatever words I used to express my thanks to the doctor were inadequate. And after trying for a while I simply gave up. We finished up the call by making up a time for us to meet at his office.
As it turned out to be, I was, Baruch Hashem, extremely lucky. After examining me and running some tests, Dr. Pollack told me that I was going to be okay and there was nothing serious for me to worry about.
My story could have ended here – but Hakadosh Baruch Hu is the Master storyteller. And here is the twist I’d like to share with you.
The very next day, I received another call from Dr. Pollack. I immediately detected something in his voice. He sounded shaken.
“Mrs. N. I want you to know that you had the zechus to save another woman’s life!
Here is the story Dr. Pollack told me.
That day before, as Dr. Pollack was examining me, another woman called him complaining of a throbbing pain in her neck. Dr. Pollack advised her to see an ENT and told her that afterwards she should come see him as well. The ENT diagnosed an infection in her neck and prescribed antibiotics. The woman was still unsettled and came to the office to see Dr. Pollack as well.
Dr. Pollack saw something totally different than the ENT and suggested a totally different treatment – which is what the woman actually needed. Had she not come to see him…well who knows what would have been.
How wondrous are the ways of Hashem. He, in His infinite kindness and wisdom sent Dr. Pollack back into his office, because of me – or so it seemed. But we were lucky to find out the real reason behind Dr. Pollack’s benevolent act of gemilas chesed.
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