Doctor Fix-It

Today I visited Ginny Leach. She lives by herself in an old trailer not far from our house. She is an ageless more or less shut-in woman. 

A mild chaos erupted the moment I walked through Ginny’s front door. She was on the phone with her sister; I think they must call each other at least three times a day. Her only other contact seems to be the nuns from a nearby order; they help her out with chores and hand-me-downs. As I walked through the door, Ginny gestured to me, stretched the phone cord, and somehow her Slimline telephone fell to the floor and went dead on her. Ginny worried that her sister would assume something bad had happened.

Before I knew it, I was on my knees on the floor, examining the jack and the telephone. Everything looked all right, but the phone line was dead. Fortunately, she still had her old, black rotary phone handy. I carry a “SwissCard” with scissors and a Phillips screwdriver in my wallet, and soon had the wall jack opened and the old phone connected to the innards of the wall jack, so that Ginny could call her sister and report on what just happened.

I chuckled to myself as I remembered how during my previous house call I had fixed her doorknob. The old one had broken off, and the nuns had installed a new one, which didn’t close right. That time I had used my SwissCard to adjust the strike plate to make the door shut properly.

I take care of Ginny’s blood pressure and cholesterol, and somehow also ended up picking up her prescriptions at the drugstore for her. That’s fine with me, and I never minded that she never asked about the cost; her state insurance covers all but a few dollars co-pay. Gradually my shopping list has grown, so now I also seem to be her only source of aspirin, calcium tablets and Icy Hot patches. The issue of money just never seems to come up.

Ginny enjoys her home visits, but never wants them to drag on. We take care of her medical issues, chat for a few minutes, and she seems ready to return to her TV shows. Living alone in this rural part of the country isn’t easy, but Ginny makes the most of the resources at her disposal, me included!

2 Responses to “Doctor Fix-It”


  1. 1 The Country Doctor August 16, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Now that’s a generalist practice! Perhaps there needs to be a CPT code added for “Phone jack repair”. Great story.

  2. 2 cathy627 August 16, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I think you might be a little toooo nice to your patients. Fixing doors and telephones, buying medicines..geesh…btw, I love the name “Ginny Leach” lol.


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