Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One Good Doctor

© MMXIII V.1.0.3
by Morley Evans

I have been helped by several doctors in my life. Without them, I would be dead. They did what doctors are supposed to do. My criticism of doctors in general and doctors who have harmed me in particular cannot be dismissed as a general prejudice.

My mother told me this story while she was living with my sister and me after she had had a stroke. I looked after her for a year. When she had recovered sufficiently, she moved to a suite where she would be independent:

When my mother was expecting my sister and me, her doctor was Dr. Cowan. He was a Jew who had come to Regina after the War. My mother didn't know from where he had come. Dr. Cowan was extremely devoted to his patients. He sacrificed himself for them.

My mother had become "toxic" — a condition that is now called pre-eclampsia. Dr. Cowan was so concerned about my mother and her unborn babies that he sat up all night in a chair beside my mother's hospital bed to watch over her. In the morning, Dr. Cowan delivered my sister and me.

My sister was born twelve minutes before me. I was a breach birth with my umbilical chord wrapped around my neck. Had Dr. Cowan not saved me, I would have died or been irreparably harmed. Instead, both my sister and I were very healthy babies thanks the Dr. Cowan. Our mother was a happy healthy mom.

My mother told me that Dr. Cowan had an arrangement with the Regina Police Department. If he were called to hospital for an emergency, a police escort would lead the way with sirens blaring.

Years later, when I was about ten years old, I heard my mother and a friend discussing two boys who were planning to become doctors. "Doctors have no lives of their own," my mother's friend observed. "Dr. Cowan works himself to death."

They needn't have worried about the boys, I would learn. The crop of doctors being trained in the 1950s and later would be nothing like Dr. Cowan who died in a fire in his apartment after he had retired in the 1960s.

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