OH-NW-HERITAGE-L ArchivesArchiver > OH-NW-HERITAGE > 2011-01 > 1295272741
From: Bill <>
Subject: [OH-NW-HERITAGE] Black Swamp Heritage, "Remember When ....",16 January 2011, Vol 10 #03
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 09:00:31 -0500
Black Swamp Heritage Articles
© Bill Oliver
16 January 2011
Vol 10 Issue: #03
Good Evening from the Black Swamp of NWoHIo,
"Remember When ...."
There are two things that my volunteer work involves;
(1) obituaries, and (2) tombstones. There is a huge
collection of obituaries in my basement files. One fell
out of its file folder the other day collected from the
Minneapolis Star Tribune for April 13th, 2008. It was
for a Dr. Thomas Arnold, a Minneapolis, Minnesota
physician "who liked toa get to know his patients." This
got me to remembering and daydreaming.
My Grandmother Lester delivered me in her home in the
summer of an early 1930s year because Ole Doc Haumann
didn't get there in time. Dad was working, so Mom got
into their car and drove, via the old wooden Fassett
Street bridge, from the East Toledo side of the Maumee
River to Mozart Street, between City Park and Western
Avenue, to Grandma Lester's house. My birth delivery was
at that address. I never knew Mom could drive or that
she ever had a license to drive until we were talking a
few years before her passing. Though I was there, I
really don't remember much specifically about this
event; besides that is not germane to this article.
What IS germane is the fact that today, fewer than one
percent of children were delivered at home. In previous
generations, mothers-to-be most usually had home births
attended by mid-wives and/or family members. Both of my
Grandmothers had served as mid-wives and delivered
children before a doctor arrived.
Today's medical "standards" and practices, advertise the
belief that increased medicalization makes baby delivery
safer and "more comfortable" in an "institutional"
setting. So during the 1950s "home delivery" of children
quickly dissappeared from the medical scene.
It is not known how much Doc Haumann charged to attend
my birth and after care, but when he rendered my Tonsil
& Adenoid Surgery, plus Circumcision, his bill listed a
fee of ten dollars. This was in the early 1940s. And, I
got all the ice cream I wanted during my hospital stay.
Two scoops of ice cream today costs nearly that much.
Did you know that Tonsil & Adenoid Surgeries have been
combined into one word – Adenotonsillectomy? I won't
speculate on how much one costs today; especially since
one knee replacement a dozen years ago cost a multiple
five digit number.
Another article mentioned a thirty-two dollar fee for a
home delivery in the 1950s.
This writing is about "house calls" by doctors. Home
visits were the norm when I was a "tad of a lad". They
died when medical insurance replaced the
"pay-as-you-go". "Overhead" and malpractice insurance
forced doctors to ban together in "groups" and house
calls became history.
Home visits gave doctors a chance to see people in their
own environment. They learn things that they would
otherwise not normally know.
It sounds old fashioned but a doctor on a home visit
could make use of "bed-side" manners, such as examining
a throat and commenting, "Well, you have a pulse, so you
will probably live." If a patient had asthma, he could
recommend getting rid of carpet or drapes. For the
overweight he would "check" the refrigerator or "candy
jar". The house call of fifty plus years ago made
patients and families feel that they were being cared
for. However, there is a trade off; today's assembly
line treatment is making us live longer.
Why can't we return to "Yester Year"? With our
technology we can mess up a country's internet system,
travel to outer space, create games of mass destruction;
why then can't we utilize the return to the personal
touch? Why can't the young, bright, motivated dreamers
make it a reality?
I've read many articles on this subject this week but I
ask you to get on line and read the most inspiring of
I'm slightly late with this article due to being reduced
to one-hand typing [carpel-tunnel surgery], then to one
finger typing thanks to the wiggly cat on my lap [she
changes position every minute on average by butting her
nose into my hand for a petting ;) ].
e-la-Di-e-das-Di ha-WI NV-WA-do-hi-ya NV-WA-to-hi-ya-da.
(May you walk in peace and harmony)
PostScript: "Myths are universal and timeless stories
that reflect and shape our lives ..." Alexander McCall
Smith, Dream Angus
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