Saturday, October 15, 2011

Did I help?

So this is the first of hopefully many blogs.  Was at a huge Cerner meeting in Kansas City and had the great fortune of seeing Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson @SeattleMamaDoc who spoke about physicians reaching out to the public rather than just waiting for them to come to us in an office visit.  So, I'm going to give it a try.  However, this blog has nothing to do with imparting medical advice.

So, I'm sitting in Panera this morning waiting for my daughter to get done with her drama class.  I'm feeling pretty good that I have a weekend to enjoy with my family, until I look over and see an obviously homeless man sitting in the corner trying not to be noticed.  I keep trying to do my work, but am haunted by the fact that I am enjoying a wonderful breakfast and some good coffee and he has nothing but a pad of paper in front of him.  I'm guessing he is trying to look as if he is doing something so he will blend in with everyone else doing work of some sort.

I want to go over and give him some money to get something to eat.  But, what if I'm wrong?  That would  be terribly insulting.  I wait a little longer.  Still, he's just sitting there.  Finally I can't take it and try to gently ask if he's eaten anything.  He looks into my eyes and shakes his head no.  I hand him a $10.00 bill (food can be expensive at Panera) and he thanks me.  I go and sit down, pleased that I could help him.  I watch him get up and then dash out the front door.  I just assumed he would get something at Panera.  Was he heading to McDonalds to stretch that money or worse, was he going to use it to get a bottle of liquor or a drug fix?  I now feel worse than I did before I approached him.  Did I just pay for his fix and enable his habit?  I'll never know, but I think I'll be more wary next time.

What do you think?