Many years ago now, I gave one of my patients a prescription that said, “Put yourself on the page”, signed by me. This person was struggling, like many of us, to take time and energy to focus on herself. She put it on her refrigerator, looked at it every day, and ran a marathon that year! You know who you are, and you still inspire me. Over the years I have seen many of you take my good advice and turn inward and take time to see what is there. It is always a good thing.
As many of you know, this last year has been a difficult one for me. My Mom, Jean, died in March, and I finally am done raising children after sending my oldest grandchild off to college this fall. So, some major endings and beginnings. It is now time to take my own good advice, and “put myself on the page”.
For the first 6 months of 2024 I will not be directly caring for patients. I am starting my adventure with spending my 70th birthday in January with a few of my friends in Oaxaca. I will be in and out of the office after this, traveling and taking time for myself. I will also be mentoring my new colleague Dr. Ziedonis to learn the art of hormonal care of woman throughout our lives.
Dr. Ziedonis will be seeing you all while I am out. I will be available to Dr Ziedonis and all my colleagues to help with any problems if needed. Dr Ziedonis is an Internist (specializing in adult medicine for men and women). She is also Certified in Functional Medicine. You can read about her on our website. She and I are working together to make this transition go well.
I chose Dr Z to join us at CFP due to her depth of experience as a hospitalist, as well as her interest in using that experience with functional and integrative medicine to guide people in personalized, preventive healthcare. Dr Z has 30 years’ experience caring for men and women, and is more qualified than I am to manage chronic diseases for those of us who (like it or not) are wandering into the golden oldie years. She, like everyone else at Central Family (except for me), manages all aspects of adult medicine. She can see you for your hypertension and your hormones. She shares my belief that woman (and men) should be supported with hormones (if they choose), as well as receive high quality preventive healthcare, with time spent to help you make good choices about your health.
I have been taking care of people as a daughter, mother, grandmother, healthcare provider, and business owner since I was 25 years old. I opened Central Family Practice in 1998 and have been guiding Central Family as a businesswoman all of these years. So, I not only have been caring for you, my own clients, but also, indirectly, for all of the people who are cared for through Central Family.
I am turning 70 in January. I love my work and want to continue to do what gives me so much satisfaction. As you all saw with my mom Jean Ryan working in the office until shortly before her death at 92, the “Ryan Way” is to continue to contribute to the world as we age. A Jean quote: “Hey it keeps me young, and who wants to hang around with a bunch of old people all the time!”. To achieve this, I also need to pause, and take some time to reflect, rejuvenate, reevaluate where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. I need to do what I encourage all of you to do: choose myself, and take care of myself.
There is not an easy way to put down my patient load and my business to take a break. But, now is the time, so here we go, as gracefully as possible and with a good team of people to support me, and all of you. I will come back with new insight and new energy for this next part of my life, and for my work.
Dr. Ziedonis and all the practitioners at Central Family will be here to care for you. They are my posse and I trust them to care for you with the same care that I do. If you have any questions or concerns, you can call and speak with Susan, our triage nurse, and she can help guide you to the right person. Know that I will be around and available when needed, just not doing direct patient care for the next 6 months.
Thank you all for contributing to how rich and interesting my life is. Be inspired to seize the day and jump on that self-care page with me.