By Ellen Coffey

When I was a child most Doctors still made house calls, similar to Doc Adams on Gunsmoke, they not only knew ‘you’ and where you lived but treated your entire family.

My Mom and Dad found our family physician when I was a toddler. A few years later, our Dr. King went off to war like my Dad and the men in our neighborhood. I recognized him years later in his military uniform. This same doctor who treated me as a child later delivered all four of my children.

The years passed…My only lingering ailment was Bronchitis and asthma.  Mom was told I “Would outgrow it” It seems I did.

I’d like to attribute my early good health to prompt medical attention. But later in life, the Asthma returned. Several times what seemed to be severe asthma turned into  Bronchial pneumonia.  But…thank God a doctor at a West Columbia Doctors care took me on.

I was self-employed without hospital insurance. A shot of epinephrin, as needed, cleared the asthma.  We had a wonderful 15-year patient/doctor relationship. But she moved away and I was devastated because  
she understood what needed to be done at the first sign of fever or sore throat.

So what now?  Still healthy, generally speaking, for my age. By the way, my Dad and Doctor King maintained a lifelong friendship. But now with all the unforeseen possibilities that come with age and during these COVID years, I have concerns.

This month’s AARP Bulletin reminded me how vulnerable I felt without a primary doctor those few years.

I recall going to a new young doctor, who probably calls me Chatty Cathy Coffey because I chatted my life history during my first office visit. I recall telling him I needed a “forever doctor”

Haha…funny, Huh? Only God knows how long that will be.

Enter AARP…One of the most informative newsprint for my age group is The AARP Bulletin. An AARP article last year may actually have saved my eyesight.  (I failed the AARP home eye test)

This month’s AARP article addresses healthy goals for a ‘long life‘ and asks “Would you recognize your primary physician if you saw them on the street?”No? Then you’d better take a good look on your next visit.  

What does that tell you? We should go often enough that we recognize one another? Yes!
Since Doctors don’t make House calls.. this AARP article suggests folks take time for a free annual wellness exam, provided for those eligible for Medicare.

You’ve heard “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.“ uncovering a health problem early can save your eyesight or add years to your life.

Maybe few folks in this generation will understand the comfort of that familiar face at your front door “when Doctors made house calls,” Y’all.