(Continuation of How I Became A Writer)
I had never heard of Dr. George Dozier. But many people had. He was a World War 2 naval aviator. After the war he practiced medicine in Lexington, Kentucky. At one time, he was said to be the top diagnostician in Lexington and beyond.
It was said when no one else knew what was wrong with a patient, they got sent to Dr. Dozier. Dr. Dozier frequently solved the riddle and successfully treated many patients. He eventually sold his thriving medical practice and signed on with the VA Medical Center.
He was also an avid astronomer with a particular interest in photographing eclipses. He traveled the world following the sun, moon, stars and planets.
Dr. Dozier was used to being the first to do things. He was a pioneer. He had the largest private observatory in the state built in his back yard on his large estate.
After I got to know him, Jay and I would often join Dr. Dozier and his wife for a meal at their home. Then we would go out to the observatory, he would push a button and the dome would roll back, revealing the blanket of stars. We would sit there in awe of God’s Creation and we would wonder what else was there we could not yet see.
So God must have smiled as the two gutsy, dreamers were paired to create a hospice.
Our first meeting was not as promising. (If you are thinking, this would make a great movie, you can kill the violins now.)
I was still busily making lists and calling people to try to get the concrete parts of a unit together.
The Chief had paid me a visit and helped get me established in an office with a desk, chair, filing cabinet and amazingly my own private bathroom.
She told me she would be giving me a list soon of nurses who would be assigned to the new unit.
Things were quiet on the unit since I was generally the only one there. So I almost jumped out of my skin the afternoon I heard a soft, but almost gruff sounding voice.
A white coated man stood in front of my desk. He said, “I’m George Dozier. I guess you are that new nurse they sent out here to help me.”
I stood and introduced myself. The next thing out of his mouth was, “I think there has been some mistake about offices. This office needs to be mine.”
I felt my rebel spirit rising. I assured him there had been no mistake.
He then explained in a tone like he was talking to a child, “No I need this office.”
So if we were going to play things like I was a child, I was up for it. I asked, “Why?”
He explained he was the doctor and therefore he should get the larger office.
“Besides,” he said, “I need the bathroom. I don’t want to have to take my time waiting behind nurses for the bathroom down the hall when I have medical things to do.”
Before I could answer, he left, but then stuck his head back in the door and said, “So when can you get these things out of here, so I can move mine in?”
I told him I would get back with him. I had no intention of beginning life by being a doormat. I called the Chief.
She laughed and said, “Oh that’s just George. You’ll get used to him. Just call Building Management and get them to move your office to that other one down the hall.”
I was incredulous. I said, “You’re just going to let him win?”
I heard her sigh. “Carolyn I thought a year with Sue would teach you the mission is not about your personal winning. You are here to do a job. And right now, part of that job is going to be getting to know and work with George Dozier. Move your office.”
I grumbled, but I said goodbye to the office with the bathroom. I looked the other way when Dr. Dozier’s things were moved in.
But this so called defeat was only round one. Stay tuned for round two with Dr. Dozier and the introduction of the rest of the unit plan. It turned out hospice was only going to be half of the unit.
The other half would be something entirely different. And there would be a different doctor for that half. Any battle I had with Dr. Dozier could not hold a candle to the full scale war that was coming between the two doctors!😱