Update: Day Thirteen and Attila's son: "His care has truly been wonderful. We are so grateful to all the dedicated professionals who have been working hard to save his life." Click HERE for the latest news. And if you have a good joke to send them, they could really use a little humor right about now!
Growing up in a family with five kids, it seemed every other week one of us was going to the pediatrician for something.
"Doc" was his name, or at least the only name I ever knew or called our pediatrician-- There was no first or last name that any of my siblings or I can remember. Anyway, Doc was a big, tall guy with cold hands, that part I remember clearly. His office was in an old house with a huge wrap-around front porch located on the main drag of town, about five blocks from our home.
He was one of those small town doctors that gave out lollipops with string handles that, much later in life, I learned were "safer" than suckers on a stick. As a kid, I remember thinking a string sucker was a sorry excuse of a "reward" for getting a shot in my butt. And I always seemed to require a shot every time I saw the doctor.
Doc took care of us through the mumps and chicken pox, colds or the flu, a couple of tonsil surgeries and a broken bone or two. He was a nice guy, very caring and always sympathetic to my Mother's worry about us kids. And he even cared for a few of my nieces and nephews when they were babies before he retired.
His receptionist, Miss Gloria, was another story. She was, in a word, mean. And scary. She never smiled, never had anything nice to say and never said anything other than "Your bill today is....". I'm pretty sure she was a relative of Doc's but they were not married. Miss Gloria was older than dirt. Doc was only older than Moses.
Back in the 1960s Mom didn't carry a checkbook. Dad handled all the money, so we were always billed by the doctor. It worked that way for everyone. Doctors didn't "demand" payment before seeing you back then like most of the medical profession does today.
Each month on payday, Dad would sort through the medical bills while Mom recounted what each doctor's visit was for and which kid had been sick. They'd also try to budget if follow-up medical visits might be required the next month so they could set extra money aside and try to stay ahead of the doctor bills.
Dad had a payment "system" for Doc. He swore every time the pediatrician's bill was finally paid in full, one of us kids would get sick again. And he was usually right. So, when times were tough and money was tight, Dad managed our "health care system" by always having an open balance at the pediatrician's of $1.00. He firmly believed that an open balance with Doc helped keep us kids healthy and our medical bills manageable. Now that I think of it, Dad applied the same system to the dentist and the veterinarian too.
As I said before, there were five kids in our family. Mom swears all five of us were planned and welcomed-- None of us were "surprises" as they say. But after baby number five, Dad decided to leave a $1.00 balance open with the OB/GYN doctor too and that was the end of kids for our family-- The ultimate in health care cost control.
I hope you're having a healthy year.
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna