They Don’t Make House Calls (or Even Phone Calls) Anymore

Recently, I developed what my doctor thought might be a virus, a catch-all designation for anything that doesn’t fit into a known category. Nothing to do for it, I was told, no anti-biotics, no special diet. "Just take it easy," was his advice to me, the one who has the patent on taking it easy.

Getting the virus was probably easier than getting this information. My first attempt began with someone at the Medical Society who told me the doctor’s office didn’t open until nine A.M. This was at 9:10.

"I’ll call back. After nine," I responded hoping she got the sarcasm. Later, after receiving a busy signal for over an hour, I reached the doctor’s office and was told the nurse would return my call, which she did - three hours later. Upon hearing my symptoms, she proceeded to tell me she would let me know if I should come into the office. A couple hours passed before she informed me it wasn’t necessary. This was when I learned that there were no medicines that could cure a virus.

When I hung up, I thought back to when, as a sick kid, my parents and Bubbie hovered over my bed, agonizing over what horrible disease I had ( probably a virus.) Our family doctor soon came trotting up to my second floor bedroom, black bag in hand and, after giving me a careful examination, handed my mother two kinds of pills to give me and suggested to Bubbie that I follow a certain diet for several days.

I don’t know who in that room was happiest. Bubbie or my mother with their assignments? My father who had been given a very modest bill? Or me who felt quite special, because a very wise man had shown how much he cared.

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