Attitude!

Arsène Voisine, my first patient this morning, rose from his chair as I entered the exam room. At 89, he has a strikingly energetic way of moving and speaking. His eyes squinted as he vigorously shook my hand and said “Good Morning, Doctor”.

“How are you?” I inquired.

He flashed a grin that quickly reverted to a frown, shrugged and turned his forearms outward, exposing the palms of both hands in a Gallic-looking gesture.

“I stayed up all night trying to think of something I could complain to you about, but I couldn’t think of anything. I am quite well, thank you. I feel like forty-five.” His pretended frown turned into his usual grin again.

Arsène is a slender man with deep facial wrinkles and large, knotty hands. I see him often in the office; he is a Senior Volunteer, who brings other, less mobile seniors to appointments and helps them with their shopping, banking and other errands.

He is an informed health care consumer, who always reads up on any concern or symptom he might have before deciding to contact our office. His favorite reference is the Mayo Clinic.

There is no mistake, this man is proud of his vigor and good health. He often points out how he lives well and practices moderation, although I sometimes think he expends more energy than I do. He thinks nothing of driving on snow-covered roads an hour each way through moose country to go ballroom dancing on a Saturday night. As he talks about his favorite dances, his shoulders rise, his elbows and knees bend and he looks like he is getting ready to jump.

He never did seem to retire; a master plumber and electrician, he still seems to be the one people around here call on to fix things, and he revels in telling me about his diagnostic triumphs.

“I could have been a doctor”, he sometimes tells me. “I love solving problems.”

He may not be a colleague in the classic sense of the word, but when I hear him talk I do think of him as a mentor and role model. He loves his life, is grateful for his good health, enjoys fixing things and helping those less able-bodied than himself, and he still does the cha-cha at 89.

Arsène – I want to be like you when I’m 89; I’d like some of that attitude!

0 Responses to “Attitude!”



  1. Leave a Comment

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.