My 85-year-old mother is sick again, with a terrible cough again, and her doctor can’t get her in for an appointment until the end of July. Welcome to the state of medical care in small town America. She has been to the ER several times this year, as well as to the new Urgent Care at the hospital. She never sees the same person twice. My sisters help her as best as they can, but what the woman needs is Doctor Harkness.
He delivered half the babies in Wellsville. He ran his practice with the same saintly nurses year in and year out. House calls were regular practice, and he often ran into the dark of night making them. His rude bedside manner was legend, but what counted was that Doctor Harkness was a great practitioner. He did not suffer fools, but he would be listening, right now, to the rattle and creak of my Mom’s lungs, and he wouldn’t tell her to go wait for hours in the hospital’s ER. His only flaw: even mean old coots die, as he did in 1992.
Right now, I’d consider resurrecting his zombie form, if only he would see her now.