I mentioned in an earlier chapter that our local doctor seemed always to be away when we most needed him. Two other cases in point were these.
Delbert had received a new bicycle for his sixth birthday. He was well past the training wheel stage, and in fact though his birthday was in June, the new school year was well underway. Saturday morning he rode down the alley and into the street, clearly without watching what he was doing, and was hit by the oncoming car. This might help draw the picture. The Heton's house was the last house in town, and the street, so far as traffic was concerned, more nearly resembled a country road than a city street. The young lady driving the car may not have been speeding, but she was moving. Witnesses stated that the boy "flew 15 feet in the air." I didn't see it, but it was obvious that he suffered a broken leg, and we could but rejoice that he was alive and conscious.
But the doctor was out of town.
Fortunately, there was a pretty decent hospital a dozen miles to the east, and the very competent ER team treated the boy, called an orthopedic surgeon, and I'm happy to report that forty-two years later, Delbert is just fine.
Our local GP had seen the wife through her pregnancy with our fourth child, but, you guessed it. When she went into labor, he was out of town. So she was delivered of child by a doctor whom she had never seen before.
I did get in to see Dr. Malton when my ribs were broken. "What's your problem?" "I think my ribs are broken." "Look, I'm the doctor; I'll do the diagnosing."
Yes, after a brief examination, you have two broken ribs. Keep an aspirin bottle handy and take a couple when the pain gets too severe. Pay the girl on your way out.
© 2010 David W. Lacy