The Other Side

The Other Side
I have to begin by apologizing, it's been over 2 months since my last newsletter, a few of you even emailed me to find out why there hadn't been one in so long…

….I don't know how many of you remember what you were doing on May 24th, but I certainly do.  Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon I got "the call"…the kind of call no one wants to get…it's starts out with the words, "there's been a terrible accident….".

It turns out my 18 year old niece (although since she was only 3 months old when I married her aunt, she almost feels like a daughter) was in a near fatal car accident.  You know, the kind of accident where you get cut out of the car by the "jaws of life" and get flown in a helicopter to the nearest trauma center…that kind of accident!

She sustained very serious injuries, was in the ICU for 2 weeks (most of the time on a ventilator), required multiple surgeries and then had 3 and a half weeks of in-patient rehabilitation..she finally went home about a week ago and has now begun several months of out-patient rehabilitation.  Ultimately, I suspect she will be fine, and someone meeting her for the first time a year from now probably won't even know she has been in such a serious accident…such are the recuperative powers of an 18 year old!

The reason I called this "the other side" is because this entire experience (as harrowing as its been) has let me see the medical profession from the patients (and the patients families) perspective.  It's the first time in my life I have been so closely involved with someone who was so seriously hurt.

I have seen doctors and nurses and other medical professionals who were compassionate and some who were not (although the vast majority were excellent, we always seem to remember the ones who were not!)…I got my nieces' perspective on being in the ICU, not able to speak, on a ventilator, and how completely terrifying and distressful that was for her…all in all it has been quite an education.  One I hope will make me a better, and more compassionate physician.  There is no doubt that as a doctor, dealing with these things day in and day out, I sometimes lose sight of how they impact the patient and the patients' family.  No doubt, I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my professional career, and hopefully be a better physician for it.

Now, on to more routine matters…


Traditionally in the summer we combine all the support groups into one group…we are doing that again this year for July and August.  The July support group meeting will be this Wednesday July 14th, and is a topic that I probably get more questions about than any other….plastic surgery!

This month we will have a plastic surgeon (Joseph Fodero) discuss post bariatric reconstructive surgery.  I know from the number of questions I get that there is a lot of interest in the topic…so come and get your questions answered.  As I have heard Dr. Fodero say in the past, plastic surgery is about making the outside look, as good as you feel on the inside!  The meeting will take place Wednesday, July 14th starting at 6 pm at the ACC (Ambulatory Care Center), 200 South Orange Ave, Livingston, NJ

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood"
Thomas Carlyle

Michael Bilof

Contact Information

web site address:
phone: (973) 218-1990

You may also like

Christie's Band

Don't worry, I am not suddenly getting political in my newsletter, but unless you've been living under a very large rock you have probably heard that our