Wednesday, June 02, 2010
I've had a few health issues in the last wee while. Minor, I should hasten to add.
It was time to find a local doctor.
I asked my friends and had various recommendations – but some of their doctors were full to the maximum and I've always had to feel that personal 'click' with a doctor. Simpatico, empathy, humanity, compassion, you name it.
About five summers ago I had taken a neighbour child to her family doctor when she fell ill and her grandparents had gone to town leaving her in my care.
I was blown away by this doctor and asked at the time, if he could take me on. He regretfully told me he didn't have room for an additional patient.
In the last few months I've had several calls from his wife who was on the same page of protest and activism as I was when it came to getting high speed for our area and had read my columns in the paper on this topic.
Yesterday I called her and asked her if I could get in with her husband, the doctor I had liked so much 5 years ago.
No problem at all, you're in, she said. Today was my first appointment.
I was greeted warmly at the door as before and led into this extraordinary light filled clinic overlooking their lavish gardens which has a wooden hand-carved roll-top desk, wooden cabinets, wooden examining table and floor to ceiling medical books.
The doctor and I then proceeded to talk Newfoundland history, motorbikes, the never ending trips one can take in this magical province, archaeology, family history, organic gardening, how you build your own cabin. That took 45 minutes. He then extracted medical history from me and examined me while discussing family diseases and our adult children.
We then surveyed a map of Newfoundland and he pointed out places I should visit where, long before Cris Columbus sailed for America, a whaling station was established in Northern Newfoundland and a dig has discovered the bones of the boats and the whales perfectly preserved in sub-zero temperatures.
My mouth must have been hanging open when he handed me scrips for 2 prescriptions and a requisition for my local clinic to get some blood work on me and a further requisition for a specialist appointment.
“Oh you're surprised at the time I took,” he said. “I do this with everyone. I only see 20 patients a day. I believe in personal service. I am not running a factory. My computer is in the basement where it should be. I simply love my work.”
I pinched myself all the way out to my car.
People: this is a real doctor in a real world. I am still gob-smacked.