July 19, 1969: Tim Sees a Doctor

Mike has a friend next door named Mark—6 ½ yrs old, several inches taller than Mike and over 100 lbs. Took them on a hike with the ranger. Went to town to buy groceries and have a doctor look at Tim’s rash. Swam and went to the camp fire. 100° by the river but nice & cool at night.

Marge Binder, July 19, 1969

Okay, I’ll admit the headline “Tim Sees a Doctor” seems a little unexceptional. Thing is, it’s huge. Tim avoided doctors his whole life, so I don’t think he went willingly back in 1969, especially for a measly rash.

In his life, Tim experienced several injuries that would require anything from stitches to not-simple surgery. The ones I can remember from the last 20 years or so: he got bit by a copperhead snake and watched his hand swell and turn black, waiting several days to seek treatment; he dropped a fish-cleaning knife into his foot, severing a major tendon and was goaded by Dad into finally seeing a doctor, only to forego the kind of therapy he needed to heal; a few years before he passed, he twisted his knee in an unfortunate encounter with his car on an icy driveway, so he used a cane from then on rather than get help.

That was Tim, and he was proud of it.

In the book we made for our parents’ 60th anniversary, Tim contributed an essay about one of these doctor-avoidance episodes, something I called “Medical Attention Deficit Disorder.” Here is an excerpt:

Until the last few years, fish-cleaning was done on a makeshift table
in the garage. In 2002, I was butchering a bountiful day’s catch with a
murderous and electric fish-fillet knife. Between salmon, this implement
fell — while switched on — off the table and onto my right instep, slicing
a tendon neatly in two, and causing blood to gush. It also caused a vocal
argument between Boss, who advised a trip to the emergency room, and
I, who wanted to wrap it in gauze and duct-tape and go fishing the next
morning. As Captain of the ship, Boss’s will prevailed. Besides sutures,
the local doctor advised surgical splicing of the tendon, which I declined
when told this would keep me off the water for several precious days.

T. James Binder, 2010

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s