Growing up the daughter of two educators I was nurtured. I often say my dad was my biggest cheerleader and my mom was my coach. When I expressed I wanted to be a doctor, they counseled me to “get around” doctors so that I could see what they do. When it came time to go to college I worked hard and I was 1 of 5 students, during my junior year in college, to be accepted into the Early Selection Program between Oakwood University and Loma Linda University School of Medicine. I graduated with honors.
Fast forward and it was my last year of medical school when I was reacquainted with a former classmate of mine from Oakwood, Wendell McMillan, II. I remember thinking back to biochemistry class when I first saw this quiet, good-looking man sitting in the row next to the periodic table, and how I decided to change my seat to sit next to him so I could, “find out his story”. Well, needless to say, that initial conversation came full circle on June 2, 2002.
Our union brought into the world two beautiful children. Now, it wasn’t easy. They were both high-risk pregnancies. But they were both worth every minute of bed rest and progesterone injections. They keep me on my toes by how smart they are. They are kind, funny and I like hanging with them.
Because I am self-motivated, coupled with skilled surgical ability in the art of minimally invasive surgery. As a young attending physician at a community hospital, I took it upon myself to become certified in the use of the DiVinci Robotic Operating System. I was the only GYN using a million-dollar machine weekly bringing in over $80K in revenue within the first 6 months of its use.
Now, I have a question for you. Is it ok if I share my real story with you?
Would you agree that there are some days in your life that you will never forget? That day for me is April 2, 2009. It started like any regular call day. I had 4 minor cases lined up for the OR. I remember I pulled into my parking spot in the physician’s parking lot went in and met my first patient in the preop area. It was a good OR day. My cases were on time, my OR team was in rhythm. As I was walking out to talk to patient number 3’s family one of the OR nurses caught up with me and said, “Hey doc, before you go to L&D after this last case I need you to see me.” I said ok, but I noted that she paused and said it again with emphasis. “Make sure you see ME.”
Well, this didn’t seem out of the ordinary because I was always asked to give off the record consults. I finished my last case and found Tracey. She then led me into the pediatric holding area in the preop area and sitting in the rocking chair was my husband. My first thought was, “how sweet, you came to have lunch with me.” Then I really LOOKED at his face. My next thought was, “oh Lord, who in his family had just died” (you see unfortunately his family was experiencing a string of losses around this same time).
I remember him lovingly putting his arm around my waist and drawing me in to sit on his knee as he began to tell me that they are not sure what happened, they don’t know if it was a heart attack or another stroke, but dad didn’t make it.
At that moment I believe I felt the coldness of death engulf my body. I began to hit my husband and tell him he was lying. My dad was fine. “He was FINE” I kept shouting. You see, I had just talked to my mother on my way to work that morning. We were coordinating daddy’s follow-up doctor’s visits for when I was returning. He had suffered a stroke the month before and he was doing FINE.
My curdling screams which could be heard into the pre-op area were so out of character for me that the anesthesiologist on call came in and asked me and my husband did I need a sedative?
We buried my dad on April 9, 2009. During the next five years, life would knock me down. We would bury my grandmother 10 months later. Three years after that we would bury my grandfather. Amid our family losses, my brother would have some legal challenges and my mother would develop a heart condition, and now I’m worrying all the time, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And as the saying goes, the show must go on. So, I sat for my specialty boards twice, and guess what, I didn’t pass. Now, this didn’t mean I was no longer a doctor. Hashtag Facts. It was a goal I didn’t achieve.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but because of how I related to the world I was developing an identity crisis. I know, I know. “What do you mean, an identity crisis?”
You see, I had identified myself at times, as Norton and Linda’s daughter. I remember sitting in my therapist's office unpacking the layers of my father’s death and asking, can I still say I’m Norton and Linda’s daughter? I mean he was gone.
I also didn’t realize that because I was grieving not passing my specialty boards I was experiencing the same thing. Could I still say I was an OBGYN? Guess what? Yes, I could. I still had my medical degree, I still had my certificates of completion from two residency programs for Obstetrics and gynecology. I still had my certification for operating the DiVinci robotic machine.
Ummmm. Well, guess what I did? I did some healing, got training, and transitioned to the world of Integrative Gynecology so that I can give my genius to the world in another way.
I’m Dr. LaKeischa, and Integrative Gynecologist, and hormone specialist. I help ambitious women suffering from symptoms that come from depleted hormones. Through my concierge practice, speaking circuit and Amazon Best Seller, The Other PMS TM : Your Survival Guide For Perimenopause and Menopause, I help perimenopause and menopausal women get their hormones balanced. This helps them regain mental sharpness, have enough energy to last all day, and feel how beautiful and vital again. You can become a Hormone Hottie by following me on all social media platforms @DrLaKeischaMD.