THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Tales from the old-timer
Issue Date: February 26, 2014
The House Call
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
daughter of the Old-Timer
This week I will relate a memory of an event the likes of which Ill probably never see again, which occurred around 1964.
My younger sister, Laura, became very ill with Whooping Cough. My parents had a pull-out couch in the living room, and that became her sick bed. I was too young to really grasp the situation completely but I knew my parents were very worried about Laura, and Id awake at night to hear her coughing, and fret. Shed been taken in to see our family doctor, but her recovery was slow. I was worried by the stress in the house, and missed my playmate.
Back in those days I dont recall any pediatric specialists. You just saw the family doctor that your family used. In our case that was Dr. Gus Blahnik. I remember him as very, very tall and imposing, but quick to smile and tease a little.
It was winter and bitterly cold, and Laura was still ill, so Dr. Clark made a house call, driving to our house 5 miles outside Marinette with his little black bag so that my parents wouldnt have to take Laura back to the clinic. And I seem to remember that in that black bag were a couple of pieces of candy that got handed out to the siblings who watched as Laura was examined in the living room.
He was satisfied with Lauras progress, and our family brightened up with this comfort. If Dr. Clark said she was going to be okay, that was gospel for us.
It is unimaginable now that such a visit would happen. Of course, we have many options for health care today. There are walk in clinics nearly everywhere and the growth in visiting home health care services is explosive. Still, its not quite the same as seeing the familiar family doctor who knows and treats all of your family from birth to death. And in driving out to our house, he was demonstrating that care for each and every one of our family, not just Laura, his primary patient. His visit took care of her parents and her siblings as well, a true demonstration of the value of a family doctor.