Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor

Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor

by Sterling Haynes


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781894759441
Publisher: Caitlin Press Inc.
Publication date: 03/15/2010
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Raised in Alberta, Sterling Haynes received his medical degree from the University of Alberta. He served as a colonial officer in Nigeria and practised medicine in the Cariboo, Alberta and Alabama. Now retired, he lives in Westbank, BC, and travels extensively in Central America. His articles and poetry have been published in journals including 'The Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine' and the 'Medical Post'.

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

Beginnings 13

Mother Blood 14

Dr. Harry 18

Eliot Cohen Corday, The Famous Cardiologist 27

Tattoos and TB 32

The Jolly Green Giant 37

White Boy 41

The Old Burn Unit 46

Cariboo 49

Bear Facts 50

The Alexis Creek Red Cross Outpost Hospital 55

"Doc, We Got a Problem." 60

Grace Peckinbaa from Chu-Chua 64

Divinity 69

Cut Proud 73

Bloody Business with a Safety Pin 78

A Mickey Finn 81

Tick Paralysis 84

Willoughby 87

Near-Death Experience 90

Thompson - Okanagan 93

Hockey Night in Kamloops 94

The Murphy Bed 100

Tony 104

Leo 107

Spooney 112

The Lucid Interval 116

Doug's Dilemma 119

Mary's Tomatoes 122

Medicine and Mariachi 126

You Never Know 131

Alabama 133

Willie's Jollification 134

Gouch! 138

Bubba Biscuit 141

No Coloured Waiting Rooms Here 145

Jake the Lineman 149

Blue Jeebies 153

Obadiah and Bernice 157

Acknowledgements 160

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Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
CathrynWellner More than 1 year ago
Sterling Haynes credits a stroke for his post-retirement writing career. 'I was left with a partially paralyzed right foot but a writer's creative right brain. I think I got the better end of the deal, but then I may be prejudiced.' I confess I'm prejudiced too. I know the writer and retired doctor who penned those words. This is by way of full disclosure since I'm about to tell you I loved Sterling's second anthology of medical tales. His first anthology, Bloody Practice, prepared me for Wake-Up Call. I expected earthy humour, compassion for his patients, an underlying sense of justice, and lots of medical terminology. I was not disappointed. Sterling reaches back into his youth for some of the stories that influenced his decision to become a country doctor. He remembers donating blood when his mother needed a transfusion and the deep satisfaction it gave him. He recalls his mentor and friend Dr. Harry Weinlos arriving at the hospital with cold hands because he had given his gloves to a patient who didn't have any. After stories from the early years of Sterling's training in Canada and the US, Wake-Up Call is divided into sections that cover his years practicing medicine in the wilds of BC's Cariboo, in the interior regions of Thompson and Okanagan, and in the Deep South of Marion, Alabama. During his residency with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, Sterling was called to treat an elderly black woman in excruciating pain from a bowel obstruction. It was night, and the neighbourhood where she lived was in one of the cities roughest areas. He turned down the offer of a police escort, but when he parked he was immediately surrounded by six young toughs. He waved his doctor's bag, but it was the woman's son, threatening the men with his Saturday night special, who cleared a safe passage for him. 'Mother Mary' survived, and the grateful family adopted Sterling as 'their 'white' doctor''. Years later, in Marion Alabama, Sterling and his wife, Jessie, opened the first barrier-free clinic in town. Although Jim Crow laws (mandating racial segregation) had been stricken from the law books, non-whites were still shunted off into separate waiting rooms and separate wash rooms in most doctors' offices. 'Everyone, black and white, was free to use our flush toilets and to drink ice water from our water fountains,' Sterling writes. 'During the summer heat all fifty waiting room chairs were in use. Everyone enjoyed the air-conditioned waiting room and the daily gossip.' Sterling can find something to laugh about in any situation. In one tale he writes about a priest who called from a residential school to talk to him about young boys who were wetting their beds every night. The school was having trouble keeping up with their laundry. Sterling dismissed the complaint as the usual effect of homesickness until he learned the frustrated young women on the staff had tied butcher's twine around six of the boys' penises before they went to bed. By morning the thread was so thoroughly embedded in the swollen penises the boys had to be rushed to the hospital. Typical of the good-humored young doctor, he figured out an effective way to make sure their systems were working again. He took the boys out into the parking lot for a peeing contest. The stories are short. So sit back. Put your feet up, and prepare for a chuckle.