My wife has been very patient during all these years. There were times she had to break social engagements, re-heat meals, and wait interminably for me to come in. It really requires an unusual woman to successfully be a doctor’s wife, and I was blessed with just such a woman.
There have been times when I was so tired it was almost impossible for me to practice medicine, or to drive home at three o’clock in the morning, yet I had to arise at 6:30 for 7:30 surgery many times. One night the phone rang and I answered. I couldn’t understand a word, for awhile, until I discovered I had the receiver upside down. Another time I thought I answered the phone, yet it kept ringing. It happened that I picked up the small table lamp, and my wife had to waken me to really answer the phone.
There was no danger in making house calls then, either
day or night, and there was not one time in thirty years that I was robbed,
assaulted, or bothered in any way. And I never refused to make a house
call, except for one time when the caller was obviously drunk. We could
not communicate properly, and I did not like to treat drunks anyway. After
all, they are not sick, as some people indicate, but are guilty of imposing
a self-inflicted condition that they well could do without.
About the author
Trester Smith Harris, M.D. was born in Konawa, Oklahoma Territory, on October 17, 1903. His father was also a medical doctor. Dr. Harris was in private practice for many years in Los Angeles, then worked for a few years at a the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, California. After retirement, he wrote these memoirs about 1973. He passed away on September 21, 1975.
Note: This memoir of my father’s experiences and opinions is not intended to constitute medical advice. If you have medical questions, consult qualified medical authorities.