Doctor Not at Home

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Thursday, March 26, 1914:  Walked to Watsontown this afternoon with the expectation of having my nose doctored, but the doctor wasn’t at home.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Hmm. . . what was the problem? . . . stuffy nose? . . .sinus infection? . . . something else?
This diary entry brings back memories of similar experiences I had when I was a child. I can remember visiting two Watsontown doctors—Dr. Persing and Dr. Yannaconne—when I had a cold or other minor ailment.

Both had offices in their homes. No appointment needed—just stop by during office hours and wait your turn. And, the medicines or salves they gave me always cured whatever ailed me. . . .

11 thoughts on “Doctor Not at Home

  1. Sometimes it almost seems as though Grandma thinks we should somehow know the details that she doesn’t mention….! I remember when our doctors practiced in their homes too. No more!

  2. Today you might get arrested for bugging the doctor at their home.

    The last home visit I remember was in 1957 when my grandma died at our house from the flu.

  3. Yes, how wonderful it was just to go to Dr. Frost and wait in the waiting room in his home. And how wonderful when he came in the middle of the night to stop my post tonsillectomy hemorrhage.

    But here’s the funny thing that reflects, I guess, the modern world we live in. When I saw reference to getting her nose doctored, my immediate reaction was “What! She wants the shape of her nose altered?”

    Sometimes I think, “Oh, for the good old days.” But then, how “good” did they seem when we were living through them… ?

    1. I had similar thoughts to you when I first read this diary entry. I pictured the pixie noses that were popular in the early 1970s–then I realized that Grandma must have meant something different.

  4. Another Helena mystery! What could her nose need doctoring for? I remember doctors making house calls. In fact there is still one who does that out here in the country. interesting that she stopped by the doctor’s house though.

  5. Yep, reminds me of when I was a kid in a small town. Doctor would come to your home to treat you. You knew them and they knew you and your family. And that was in the late 50s and early 60s still.

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