Dr. Holmes Was Our Insurance

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 09:16 AM.

            My favorite granddaughter had to wait a couple of days to get in to see an “ear, throat and nose” specialist. She had a simple cold for goodness sakes! I was thinking “just take her to the doctor” but prudence and a quick glance from my wife sealed my lips. I reckon it doesn’t work that way anymore.

            It seems that everybody in the medical profession is specialized now-a-days. I’m thankful it wasn’t her left ankle. We might have been weeks finding a left ankle doctor who tailored his practice to little ones under 5. I would hate to have another kidney stone, low down on my right side and through the pain and the agony drag myself to the nearest Urologist…..only to find he was a left kidney specialist. Somebody in that office would have seen my bad side!

            It could be a fraternity thing. The first doctor you see is recommending you to an accomplice sometimes before you finish telling him where it hurts. Once you get in the “system” you can bounce around forever. I could be wrong about this but there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of insurance you carry and your length of stay in the pipeline. Of course, there is a tremendous upswing to all of this. If a doctor specializes in right index fingers only….and you’ve got that exact bum digit, you could rest easy in knowing he should have a pretty good working knowledge of your problem!   

            J. T. Holmes was the first person on this earth to lay eyes on me. If he had any special comment as to my looks or well being, I was too busy filling my lungs and blinking from the bright lights to take note. He was the only doctor in town in my early years. Of course, I didn’t visit often. We only went to see him if the sassafras tea, mustard poultice or the burnt oil and sulfur didn’t work.

            My first emergency trip was when I closed the truck door on my left thumb. It was smashed flat and the pain was so awful I barely remember Mom saying, “You might lose it.” Dr. Holmes stuck a needle as long as a Texas flagpole right through it and began to sew it back together way before any “deadening” took effect. If he heard my screaming he didn’t seem to notice. He never took his eyes off my thumb, which by the way, is still functioning sixty years later.

            I went to see him when I had the Whooping Cough. We had tried Vicks Salve, Smith Brothers and White Rose petroleum jelly. Nothing could stop my coughing! Dr. Holmes listened to my breathing for a split second and brought out the Texas needle. I immediately went silent. I promised to never cough again as long as I lived— It was too late! He had my pants down in a nanosecond and while my parents held me down, he sank that thing all the way to Amarillo!

            Dr. Holmes specialized in making you well. He took care of “his” people from birth to death. He waded through fevers, rashes, wayward fish hooks, mumps, scurvy, puncture wounds, droopy eyes, dislocated shoulders and hemorrhoids with equal aplomb.

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