Monday, December 29, 2008

Kudos Doc Watson!

As usual this morning I was reading through the headlines on my second best friend, my computer. Most of the time I experience a wide range of emotions while reading the stories. Everything from laugh out loud to oh my goodness that makes me mad.

Less often a story will touch me. This morning however, I read one of those stories. I sat here with tears running down my face and a huge smile at the same time. My first best friend (my husband) came in from his shower and immediately thought something was wrong with me. I assured him it wasn’t and read him the story.

I’ve lived many places in my lifetime but no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always claimed Texas as home. I love Texas. I love most of the people in it. My guess is if it was a smaller state I probably wouldn’t feel that way. Less people = less chance for good.

The story I read was about a doctor in Yoakum Texas. Yoakum is a small town outside of San Antonio. This man, lovingly known as Doc Watson, has been the town doctor for 50 years. And he still makes house calls.

That doesn’t happen very often these days. Most doctors are more worried about the money they make and not so much about their patients. That’s sad but true. But Doc Watson isn’t one of those doctors. He’s even been known to accept baked goods and home grown vegetables as payment to the dismay of his daughter. He was quoted in the story as saying “These people have paid me with what they could. As far as I’m concerned, they’re paid in full.” How refreshing is that?

He began his career after graduating from the Baylor College of Medicine in 1958. Back then he charged $3.00 for an office visit and $5.00 for a house call. Some of his patients have been lifelong.

One of those patients is 80 year old Lou Olsovsky. As Doc Watson examined Lou he gently asks about his wife who passed away four years previously. When the doctor asked if he was ready to go meet his wife, he was told “I was supposed to go first, but she wouldn’t let me.” Lou still wears his wedding ring. That just broke my heart. It was what made me cry.

It makes me happy that there are still men like that in this world. Sometimes I wonder about our planet and the way it seems to be going downhill. Then I read something like this story and it gives me hope.

I’d like to tip my hat to Doc Watson. I hope he has many more years taking care of his town. According to him he has no plans to quit anytime soon. He said “When I can’t do crossword puzzles anymore, I’ll know it’s time to quit. But as long as I’m reasonably healthy, and have a little sense, I’ll keep doing it.”

Click here to read the original story


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