I signed up for daily writing prompts from http://www.sarahselecky.com/free-resources/. Now, whether or not I’ll actually do a writing prompt each day is debatable. My vacation is over tomorrow and I don’t want to go back! *cries* There goes a huge hunk of my day right there. But we’ll see what we’ll see.
Dr. Spool was a kindly old doctor from a small town in Iowa. For years he had paid house visits to his patients, but as time passed and his patients grew old, or even died, newer patients preferred going to the hospital or clinics for treatment. It wasn’t that Dr. Spool, whose given name was Marty, didn’t like hospitals – what kind of doctor would he be if he admitted such a thing – but he felt that the personal approach he ha become accustomed to was missing. Everything was far more streamlined than it should be.
He had colleges who only saw their patients for a few minutes at a time. Hardly enough time to really get to know them as anything but a name or patient number. No personal service at all. That wasn’t what medicine was supposed to be about. Medicine was getting to know someone, their personal life and history, their family, their problems. He called it treating the whole person and not just their symptoms or disorders. THAT was what medicine was supposed to be about. Helping people, not just making money.
Now he sat at the bedside of one of his oldest patients, Lillian. Her white hair was cut into a short serviceable bob because she no longer had the dexterity to deal with her long hair. Her gnarled fingers couldn’t manage making a braid. It was a pity, Dr Spool, thought, for her hair had been lovely. Truly one of her best features.
He spoke to her quietly, holding that cold gnarled hand. He wanted to comfort her as best he could. The cancer had returned and was just as aggressive as ever. There was nothing more they could do for her other than to make her as comfortable as possible in her last days.
Could a modern doctor who flitted in and out of a patient’s room or examination room in a sterile clinic really offer much in the way of comfort? They seemed to hardly know the person. Really know them. Such news as he was giving to his life long patient should be delivered by a friend. Not just a doctor.
And he was her friend. Always had been. Always would be. Just like all of his other patients that weren’t really patients at all. But family in the truest sense of the word.