Friday, July 06, 2007

The Family Doctor [CCR]

Yesterday we finished our final yard sale and the packing has begun. While we are still 60 days away from my first day in Tennessee it is time to get everything out the door that we don’t want the movers to grab. After about ten moves I have learned if you stand still long enough they will pack you. I imagine riding in that big hot trailer down to Tennessee wouldn’t exactly be comfortable. I leave that job to the television (it’s still upset with me).

I looked through the medicine cabinet last night. I guess I need to schedule one last visit with the doctors to get all my prescriptions updated. I really hate trying to find doctors in a new location. Doctors are sort of personal and you really do develop a relationship with them. Today the shortage of doctors isn’t helping. Between insurance, school loans, and equipment costs the doctor must enjoy helping people to afford to stay in practice. It makes the family doctor sort of special.

Dr. Mims was the first to greet me in this wonderful world. He was Mom and Dad’s doctor from my beginning and after my few short years visiting the pediatrician he became my doctor as well. As such he saw me through scrapes, bruises and even a few sneezes. We woke Dr. Mims in the middle of the night to hear his calm assurance and know our prescription was waiting for us in the morning. Now if you count all those people we saw in his office and figure how many called at night it makes me question when Dr. Mims ever got any sleep.

Early in life I got a curiosity in electricity. It seems every child gets a curiosity in something that points them in some direction. Well, I went from drawing power lines to finding an old television. My entry into engineering had its bumps in the road. One Christmas Eve we bounced over a big bump when I found an old television. I gutted all the parts (of which I still have some I think) and then looked at what was left. Dad was working in the shed when he heard me. I punctured a hole in the picture tube. The gas in the tube quickly entered my body and the muscle spasms ensued. None of us really knew what had happened other than I felt terrible. Mom left a message for Dr. Mims and we headed to the hospital. Dr. Mims walked into the emergency room and gave me something to drink. As always his wisdom prevailed and he already knew I would be fine with something to settle me. He told Dad that after a few hours working on his farm I would be fine.

Dr. Mims spent many years watching our family grow. Today he is retired and enjoying life in Tuscumbia. It was a melancholy day to see him hang up his stethoscope. I’m sure such a doctor misses all of us as much as we miss him. But he still drops by to see the family. Mrs. Mims and he are always ready to share a smile and a story. I’m sure they both proudly look around at all the lives they touched in the The Shoals.

Such is the story of many doctors in the area. I could tell about many others who patched me up. Today my family strongly depends on Dr. Taylor who picked up in their lives where Dr. Mims left off. It would be extremely difficult to mention all the specialists who help us too. It is simply amazing that in this increasingly complex world the family doctor still maintains a seemingly unwearied watch over his fold. Take a moment and show your doctor appreciation for all the years spent preparing next time they patch you up, reassure you, and send you on your way. Thank you Dr. Mims for introducing me into this great world. Hopefully we can sit and share a story when I come home.