Hail to intuition

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist looks back at children's misguided medical recreation

As I’ve said before, today’s technology amazes me. We live in exciting times in which new technology is flourishing and, for the most part, benefiting society.

Case in point is the online doctor’s consultation in which you get virtual face time with a real doctor via the computer. Simply put, you talk with the doctor and he, or she, diagnoses you and will call in a prescription for you if needed, or offer other medical advice. Clean and simple. No more waiting in a crowded doctor’s office, exposed to other’s germs and basically waiting away your valuable time.

Doctoring sure has come a long way from when I was a child.

I remember living in Abbotsford with my parents, older brother and sister and my younger brother who happened to have thrush, which is a yeast infection of the mucus membrane lining the mouth and tongue.

My brother was an infant at the time and I was only about three years old. Unfortunately for my brother, this case of thrush was extremely stubborn and required months of treatment. Fortunately, however, we had a doctor, Dr. Donke (pronounced donkey – which us kids found hilarious) who made frequent house calls to shepherd my brother towards health and away from the thrush.

When Dr. Donke came, it was always a bit of entertainment for us three older children. He always appeared in his suit carrying that mysterious black bag, a somber, no-nonsense look upon his face. We would silently follow him into my brother’s bedroom where he would begin his examination which always started with a look into my brother’s mouth to determine if he was winning the battle against thrush. With that out of the way, he would reach into his black bag and bring out the thermometer. Back then there was no such thing as an electronic thermometer which was magically pressed against your forehead for a few seconds. Nope. Not then.

The dreaded thermometer was fragile glass filled with mercury which was ruthlessly poked up your butt. That instrument was enough in itself to make you sick, but I digress. Even now I shiver just a bit thinking of that archaic tool of diagnosis. Of course, we other three siblings would pay audience to that thermometer, our eyes wide as Dr. Donke proceeded on his mission. And that was just about when Mom would shoo us out of the room with orders to go play. So we did. Mom should have been more specific at what, exactly, we should play at.

Now, I don’t exactly remember this (most likely I blocked it from my mind), but I trusted my mother’s word years later when she would retell the story, much to my horror and embarrassment.

Evidently, during one of those doctor’s visits Mom noticed that her remaining three children were being awfully quiet; awfully being the operative word. Now, all moms will tell you that when their usually rambunctious kids are quiet there is something greatly amiss. (As I write this, I can picture all you moms out there who are reading this, nodding your head in acknowledgment.)

So Mom got into mom-mode and decided to investigate. Thank goodness she did.

Evidently, when mom found us, we three were engaged in playing “doctor.” My elder brother and sister were the doctors and I was the unsuspecting patient. I’ll spare further details, but let’s just say Mom arrived in the nick of time to save me from getting my temperature taken with a spike. Yes, you read this right.

Mothers’ intuition is a wonderful thing and likely saved me from a very painful experience. So, while technology is wonderful, nothing beats good old-fashioned intuition.

Thanks Mom.

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