Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
So January and February have to the longest, bleakest months of the year. I know teachers who dislike February because students and staff tend to get on each other’s nerves.
I am not sure if it is the weather – or if the let down from the holidays – but if we can make it till March, we will be ok.
I have to find a new family doctor this year. My doctor of 38 years is going to retire. He is only the third family doctor I have had since I was born in Reece Hospital, Gardner, so many years ago.
I know lots of younger people go to walk-in clinics and don’t really care who they see or if it is someone new every time.
I prefer to have a face I recognize. Someone who remembers when I broke my leg. Someone who knows my medical history and all of my various allergies to prescriptions.
Growing up in Gardner, our family all saw Dr. A.S. Reece.
My mother knew him and babysat his children when she was a young girl.
My Dad went to him to get his tonsils removed before he was allowed to join the Navy.
Dr. Reese built our little hospital, and it was the first one in Johnson County. He made house calls because that was what doctors did so many years ago. He was in every sense a family doctor. I am sure he missed many family events and moments that his children and wife had wished he could attend.
My next family doctor was very short in duration. He was a younger man and was killed in a car accident in Kansas City.
Which brought me to my present doctor. He was there for the births of both of my children. Through and illness. He gave me sound advice and always listened to my concerns.
I think your family physician is more or less an extended member of your family. They know everything that has happened to you and still smile and shake your hand when you have to come for an appointment.
I am glad to know he is traveling to visit his kids and grandkids. He needs time with the family he helped raise. The ones who wished Dad was there when he was delivering a baby or setting a broken arm.
I am super grateful for the 38 years we have worked together to keep my family up and healthy. I am truly lucky to have been one of his first patients after he got out of the Air Force. We have had a good run, and he has suggested possible doctors I might like. He will be missed, but he has earned his time with family and you can’t begrudge him that.