I saw an article several years ago about what I refer to as your second tier of important "family" members. These are people who are absolutely vital to your existence on this planet in different ways than your immediate family members or close personal friends.

They are the professionals who care for your health, the health of your beloved pets, your overpriced vehicle, or your home. Truthfully, they could be anyone who has been assisting you with issues related to living a better life.

For me, for anywhere from 30 to 35 years, three of these extraordinary experts include; my veterinarian, Dr. Douglas Brost; my dentist, Dr. Gayle Reardon; and last but not least my doctor, Dr. Douglas Geise.

These three remarkable people have seen me through crises big and small, in quantities too numerous to mention. And now, things are beginning to change. As anyone who truly knows me can tell you, I hate change!

Dr. Geise has decided he is going to retire.

I reprimanded him with all the usual level-headed arguments: "How dare you leave me? What am I supposed to do for a doctor now? What, you couldn't just take vacation?! You don't even like to travel! What are you going to do, walk tight circles in your house, do perimeter walks around your property? I can't believe how inconsiderate you're being! Don't you realize it's all about me?!!!"

He laughed a lot. Honestly, I wasn't trying to be funny.

When I first went to him years ago I was pretty ill with something the doctor I had been seeing told me was all in my head. Dr. Geise said otherwise.

She stopped practicing medicine not long after she made me feel like an idiot. He has been my doctor ever since.

He saw me through a dramatic and extremely traumatic spinal injury and surgery 18 years ago. He has comforted and counseled me and tried to find new avenues of treatment when my depression has become too much for me. His intelligence is only matched by his kindness and desire to help.

Dr. Geise attended to my father (who was also a physician) when he was dying and has cared for many of my close friends.

His response to my "why" question? He said he "still truly loves seeing his patients, but the rest of the day-to-day stuff - no and besides, it's time".

No, Dr. Doug, it isn't but you obviously aren't listening to what is important; me!

He is a rock star of the medical profession and I for one will miss him terribly; personally and professionally.

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