The following is a message we received from Denise Mikkola (pictured, left), a patient at Fairview Mesaba Clinics – Hibbing, shared with her permission.
I wasn’t feeling well, and I suspected I had another stubborn sinus infection. I contacted Fairview Mesaba Clinics – Hibbing to schedule an appointment with Colleen Wallis, PA.
As my primary care provider for several years, Colleen (pictured, right) is honest and straightforward about my care and well-being. She is a straighter-shooter, as I like to say, and I appreciate it. During this visit in particular, Colleen cared for me as a whole person, not just another patient.
Much like every other visit, we discussed my nutrition, water intake, supplements, prescriptions, weight and, of course, the symptoms I was experiencing.
We spent a considerable amount of time discussing the reason for my visit. Because Colleen had just recently treated me for a sinus infection, she started to dig deeper and ask more questions about my life. Colleen is very perceptive, and she was sensing there was more to my story.
I then shared a personal story about a recent traumatic event—the loss of a close family friend. Though difficult, it felt really good to talk about it.
While Colleen diagnosed me with another sinus infection, she said the recurrence was related to the stress I was experiencing. Colleen said the most amazing thing—my body was holding on to the infection because I was dealing with the pain and anguish from losing a dear friend.
Our conversation continued as we discussed my mental health, the spiritual aspects of losing a friend and how those things affect my overall well-bring.
She also shared some coping methods and resources.
I may have made my appointment for a routine sinus infection, but instead my entire self was treated.
Thank you, Fairview and Colleen Wallis, for treating ALL of me while recognizing and validating not just my physical illness, but also my emotional well-being.