The Home Team / Do we have to Lose all the best doctors?
Here’s a quick, real-life medical story for you.
Back in 1996, I was all set to board a plane to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where my mother was about to have a pacemaker installed. Trouble was, I had an excruciating pain in my wrist. Several local doctors assumed it was a simple orthopedic problem, but one thought maybe I ought to see an infectious disease specialist, and sent me to a physician who practiced in Norwalk. That good doctor, upon seeing traces of red on my skin from my wrist to my chest, deduced that it was flesh-eating cellulitis, and had me admitted to Norwalk Hospital. I had chills, my fever reached 105 degrees, and I couldn’t bear being touched in the area around my wrist. But his diagnosis came in time, and prevented me from boarding the plane. Most doctors now agree that had I done that, I would have died.
After this — no surprise — my wife and I became devotees of the good doctor. His name is Arthur Yee, and over the years, through his diligent work and his careful examinations, he’s repeatedly made spot-on diagnoses and has given us thoughtful, intelligent medical advice. One time when our youngest son was 3 years old, and his pediatrician couldn’t figure out what was bothering him, we brought him to Dr. Yee. Though Robby was far too young at the time to officially belong to an adult practice, Dr. Yee made an exception for us — and was the first to recognize that our son had Lyme disease. Another good catch, early in the game, before it would have been real trouble.
These days, despite living in New York City, Robby still sees the good doctor for primary care. As do our other two adult sons, also New Yorkers.
Dr. Yee’s concern for our health has always been so real, so intense, that it’s led us to do some crazy things on his behalf. Around the time I developed high blood pressure, he asked me about my typical lunch. When I answered, “Salami and olives,” I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He told me of the huge amounts of salt I was ingesting, and made me promise to give up both foods on the spot. He also wanted me to cut way back on my beer consumption. And Carol, my wife? She was instructed to reduce her intake of her beloved Oreos. Now though the good doctor always practiced what he preached, and lived an ascetic life, us mere mortals had a much harder time with these restrictions . . . but we hated to disappoint him.
“The Home Team” appears the first Friday of every month. You can also keep up with Hank’s adventures on his blog, “Beagle Man,” on the Westport News website, at: http://blog.ctnews.com/beagleman/ To reach Hank, email him at DoubleH50@gmail.com .