Drugless Cure

April 21st, 2012 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

In my 20s, I ended up with a great physician, back when there were GPs. John Staig Davis was literally a Virginia gentleman winding down his practice on the Upper East Side of NYC. While team physician for the likes of the NY Giants and famous in medical circles for synthesizing vitamin B6 from pyridoxine hydrochloride first, his love was fixing folk.

I think of his mentality and methods faced with today’s not-so-good docs. He would never treat a patient’s symptoms with a drug unless he had diagnosed the problem. He’d also intend to cure the patient. That doesn’t happen for adults except in the rarest of cases. Even then, it’s usually the body’s natural actions that effect a cure.

A woman I knew professionally and would later keep company with referred me to him. I had some dizziness, light sensitivity and such. The doctor I had seen had no idea. She on the other hand trusted Davis. Her father was a big shot at CBS News and Dr. Davis had figured out his problem and cured him of it when others could not.

Sure enough, after a few visits, he nailed my issue. The cure took a bit, but the diagnosis was spot on.

He was chatty, patient with his patients. I had noticed an open cabinet in his office with a bottle of bourbon on the shelf. He explained that a few elderly women would come by for a word and a nip from time to time. He was close enough to their age and was mannered and pleasant enough that they liked to socialize with him. He didn’t charge them and they left after a drink, but he figured it was helping keeping them healthy.

After checking me a couple of times, he was ready to treat me. He also arranged for what was then normal practice with the likes of Blue Cross — three days and two nights in a hospital for a full range of tests to rule out anything unseen.

His treatment started with turning the framed picture on his desk to face me. It was he decades before with a gorgeous woman, a woman who looked remarkably like his receptionist, who was his daughter. The woman was his late wife. She had been an actress who had been in supporting roles with the likes of Clark Gable.

I of course was very puzzled and wondered what the devil that photo had to do with me.

He told the story about how he adored his wife, truly worshiped her. She could be mean and crazy and even cruel, but he was, as I came to know many years later, limerent. He could not control his passion and devotion.

She killed herself. He fell into profound depression, but came out the other side. He told me that then he realized that he himself had nervous symptoms, like insomnia, forgetfulness and mild depression when he was married. It was a destructive relationship for him but in his love of her he didn’t see it. He said that her absence after death turned out to let him be happy and healthy. He realized he never felt better.

His diagnosis for me, pending test results, was to think about leaving the woman I lived with. He could tell from our discussions that I was similarly devoted to her, adored her, and ate my anguish at not feeling equally loved.

He was right.

I did not leave her immediately, but soon. In the hospital, she did not visit me, but the woman who referred me to Davis did. She brought books for me to read between tests and simply spoke and listened earnestly. Leaving the hospital three days later, I called her and we went for a drink in the Village. I did not go back to my apartment that night, spending it instead with my visitor.

Shortly after I was in a new apartment, my sundry symptoms disappeared. Mirabile dictu.



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