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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Bookmark and Share

Mailbox

contact @ acountrydoctorwrites.com

RSS A Country Doctor Reads:

  • More on Bribing Doctors
    The going rate for physician bribery seems to be around $100 per act. In Great Britain it is slightly less, about $88, or £55. In one recent American case, I was offered $100 for putting a hypotensive diabetic patient of mine on an ACE inhibitor (“Incentive, Bribe or Kickback?“) Now my British fellow GPs stand […]
  • Celiac Disease and the Gut-Brain Axis
    Gluten free diets have become somewhat of a fad lately, and many people say that they are not offering any health benefits for most people. But, given the wide range of symptoms and conditions that seem to be associated with celiac disease, it makes you wonder. I had been aware of the physical symptoms claimed […]
  • Ebola and the EMR
    When I heard about the Ebola case in Texas, I was impressed that the doctor made the diagnosis. But according to The Healthcare Blog, the diagnosis was missed and the patient was sent home. Two days later a family member called the CDC and was told to bring the patient back to the ER. The […]
  • Three Little Words
    Newly minted physician Pranay Sinha, opening up about early professional doubts, writes about the comfort a senior colleague’s three words gave: “Dude, me too!” “We need to be able to voice these doubts and fears. We need to be able to talk about the sadness of that first death certificate we signed, the mortification at […]
© A Country Doctor Writes 2008-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.