Thumb Still Working Fine!

Published: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 11:13 AM.

            We might have been a tad antiquated with our health coverage but we sure got the doctor of our choice. Dr. Holmes was the only medical doctor in town! And we didn’t pay him in advance through some health insurance plan. We were all on the cash and carry system. When my thumb got smashed in the truck door, it was quickly deemed beyond coal oil help. Dr. Holmes stuck a needle in it and went to sewing. We didn’t fill out any papers. We didn’t produce any cards, open a line of credit or hock one of our cows. It did bother me a little that he looked through his glasses a while and then looked over them some during this operation. I was young and hurting too much to talk. But I didn’t want no near sided doctor guessing where to tie off those stitches!

            Daddy thanked Dr. Holmes and told him he would pay him as soon as he could. They both seemed perfectly satisfied with the financial arrangements. I felt like then, and I still do to this day, my thumb was more important than the money to the both of them!

            You can say “simpler time” or “it doesn’t work that way today” or “it’s much more complicated now” till the cows come home but I’m not sure I’m buying that. Maybe we’ve let insurance companies talk us into that belief. How, when, where and for what reason did they become the middle men between us and the doctor? I can tell you, Dr. Holmes made an excellent living keeping us tied together. We just paid him direct. And he didn’t charge an arm and a leg (no pun intended) either! It was a system that was simple, direct and worked.

            It’s enough to make you scratch your head and wonder how we’ve come to such a medical morass today. 

            And we did have a piddling of healthcare savvy in 1959. After we’d seen what politicians had done with hog prices in West Tennessee, we wouldn’t have let them come near our medical needs with a ten foot pole!



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