Posted by: Tricia | Thursday, October 11, 2007

They broke the mold for him…

[Updated: On the advice of two of my readers and dear friends, Eric and In_spired, I’m republishing this post with my doctor’s full name and a link to his obit to increase the possibility that his family might find it. Thanks for your advice and encouragement!]

One thing I wanted to talk about on my last post was something I found in the Midland newspaper’s obituaries a few days ago. I’m glad I waited to talk about this now, because this definitely deserves a post of its own.

For those of you who are located in the Midland area, you may have seen this as well, and might possibly even have direct knowledge of the man I’m about to speak of.

It turns out that my pediatrician for the first two decades of my life, Dr. Allen, passed away last week. He was a wonderful doctor, and got me through some extremely rough times, one of the most notable being scarlet fever on my sixth birthday. I had some allergy issues as well, and when I was talking with my mom last night, she reminisced about how she’d take me by the doctor’s office once every other week for an allergy shot. She mentioned how she used to marvel at how I’d hop out of the car, run in, disappear for a moment or two, and run back out. All by myself. I don’t remember at what ages I did this, but I know it was during elementary school.

Anyway, this man was such a blessing to the field of pediatrics. In that same discussion with my mom, I asked her if she had any idea if Dr. Allen had had his office built himself, or if it already existed when he moved his practice into it. She said she’s pretty sure he built it himself. And my reason for asking that was because of the brilliant design this little building has. It was quite small, with a basic rectangular shape. There were five doors stretching across the street-facing side. The first door on the left had no markings of any kind (except for perhaps the address number next to the doorjamb), and each of the subsequent four doors were adorned with a ‘1,’ ‘2,’ ‘3,’ or ‘4’ in big wooden numerals. That first door led into the waiting and reception area, and the other four were private entrances into the four exam rooms.

You see, Dr. Allen had the insight and general common sense to arrange his facility in a way that those children who were there to have a possibly contagious illness treated were instructed to wait in their car instead of in the waiting area where their maladies could be transferred to other patients. I remember so many times pulling into that parking lot, my mom running in to announce our arrival, and back out she’d come to wait with me, who more than likely was dying. After a few minutes, one of the four numbered doors would open up, and through the crack my mom had created in the car window, we’d hear the nurse holler, “Patricia!” And there we’d go, straight into the exam room.

Again I must say, “Brilliant!” I’ve never seen that anywhere else since.

Once in the exam room, I remember my mom often getting very impatient with Dr. Allen, because through the rather thin walls, we could hear him chatting it up with other patients’ parents while we sat there, me often being in utter misery, waiting. I don’t really know if we usually waited all that long, given that my age limited my perspective as to what was a long wait and what wasn’t. But finally, Dr. Allen would come in, examine me, harrass me a little if I wasn’t feeling all that bad, and then he’d sit and chat with my mom for a few moments while he wrote out a script and/or announced if I’d be getting a shot. Oh, the anxiety that would well up in me when he’d go sit in that chair after completing the exam! I’d hang on his every word waiting to hear if a shot was coming.

Aaaahhh yes….the shots. Those aforementioned allergy shots were obviously no big deal. But those that I got to help cure an illness came in those big, long, scary, fat, glass syringes. And they didn’t go in my arm. They went into my butt.

I remember many instances of getting sick enough when I was still quite small to prompt my mom to announce to me, as I was laying there dying on the couch, that it was time to call Dr. Allen. I’d holler and scream and cry, “Nooooooooo, Mom! Please, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I don’t want to get a shot!” And bless her heart…she wouldn’t be swayed by this pitiful, pathetic wailing of mine, she’d call, and if I needed a shot, I always soldiered through it. And I know my mom had to soldier through forcing me into such a torturous situation, even though it was for my own good.

And as I grew, I began to notice that these big, hairy shots would get me to feeling better before sunset that same day. So as the number of candles steadily increased on my birthday cakes, I still came down with these life-threatening illnesses from time to time. But in place of that pathetic wailing, out of my mouth would come these words: “Mom, would you call Dr. Allen? I think I could use a shot.”

He even made it possible to receive calls of an emergency nature after hours, or on his days off (which I think besides the weekends, were Wednesdays.)

Dr. Allen had a marvelous sense of humor and bedside manner as well. Yes, he would harrass his patients, but in a very loving, at-ease sort of way. Back when I was in that pitiful wailing stage of life, Dr. Allen referred to me as “The Princess.” And then after I had matured somewhat and was no longer a ‘little’ girl, I noticed that I had graduated to “The Queen.” (Very apropos, I might add.) I can remember my mom mentioning having run into Dr. Allen at the grocery store one time and him having inquired about The Queen.

Now that I am grown, (in no small part to his having saved my life multiple times) and have boys of my own, I judge every pediatrician that treats them by these lofty standards. And I must admit I’ve never found a doctor coming anywhere close to Dr. Allen.

This world has lost a good one. Fare thee well, doctor. You will be sorely missed!

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Responses

  1. That is a very kind tribute you paid him. 🙂

    Peace,

    ~Chani
    http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

  2. His family would be pleased at your recollections.

    Suggestion: edit this post to refer to his real name, so that family members googling it will find the post. I really think they’d be touched to read it.

  3. Tricia,

    My opinion is that Eric is right…edit it to include the doctor’s name. I have done a couple of tributes and the families have been so appreciative.

    This is an outstanding post in his honor. Any family member will be very proud of it…

  4. Great job, tricia!!

    and I liked the link to his obiturary. Of course, I didn’t know him but after reading your post and the obit, I feel like I did!!

    You’re a great writer…

  5. Allergy shots are needed sometimes to manage server allergy. .

    My current internet site
    http://www.healthmedicinelab.com/is-strep-throat-contagious/


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