Folk Medicine With a Flashlight


A friend reminded me the other day of this experience. If you have a few moments I thought I would share it with you. Working in the medical field gives workers many funny stories to share. Often we will share these experiences, as well as some of our own amusing stories from long ago. This is one of my families maladies, and I must own it.

In today’s world when you have symptoms of illness or problems, and you’re not sure what to do for them, you are able to Google the symptoms and get a response. That was not the case 50 years ago. WebMD did not exist. We absolutely needed to see a doctor.

I can still remember our doctor coming to our house and making a house call. Do any of you remember house calls? His office was just around the corner from our house so he didn’t need to travel far. However, most of the time we would see him in his own office to receive his “wise medical advice”.

We lived in a small house, and my younger sister and I slept together. When she was about 3 or 4 years old, and I was about 7 or 8, our mom asked the doctor about a problem with my sister. One night our mom came into our room to check on my sister. “Because she has been scratching herself,” my mother explained.

I laid there watching as mom held a flashlight and pulled back the sheet. You have to admit, most 7 year olds would find that curious. Mom lifted up my sisters nightgown, and began to shine that flashlight on her backside. 😳😳My eyes must have been open wide because my mom tried to explain, “Dr. Mack said I needed to see if Becky had worms, and they usually come out at night when it’s dark”.

So I ask you, “Would you want to sleep with a sibling who may have worms?” I knew I didn’t. I am not able to remember how long it took, but I know at least a few days went by before I slept with her again.

I was sharing this experience one evening at a gathering of medical staff/coworkers. One person, I’m not quite sure which one, popped up saying,  “Did the worms have on their tuxedos, and were they dancing in the light?” The visual of that comment brought us to tears, we were laughing so hard. Oh how I loved those funny women.

So grandchildren I promise you, “I never have nor ever will use a flashlight and check you for worms. FLASHLIGHTS ARE FOR FLASHLIGHT TAG ONLY at our house.








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