If you were born in my hometown, there's a good chance that you or someone you know was delivered by Dr. W.G. "Curly" Watson. In fact, if Dr. Watson delivered YOU, there's an excellent chance that he also delivered your mom, aunt, kids or grandkids, too! In some families, Dr. Watson has delivered three or four generations! He delivered two of the doctors that are now part of his pratice. He delivered my mom-in-law's younger brother as well as my very own husband, his sisters and one of my nephews. Even if Dr. Watson didn't deliver you, if you're female you've probably heard of him. After all, the women's center at the hospital bears his name.
That's because Dr. Watson has delivered over 15,000 babies over the past 63 years! Today is his 100th birthday. He's officially the Oldest Practicing Physician in the United States.
And he's STILL taking new patients!
Think of all the changes in medicine Dr. Watson has witnessed over his six decades in obstetrics! When my mom had me, they knocked her out before the birth and woke her up hours later. I'm not even sure how she knows they gave her the right baby?! She stayed for a week in a semi-private hospital room where there were televisions available for patients....if they wanted to RENT one! Babies were kept secluded in the nursery except during feeding times when a white-capped nurse would wheel them down the hall and all visitors had to flee the mom's room. Only dad could remain. All others had to peek at the new addition through the nursery glass. If you wanted to call your family and share news of the blessed event you had to use the rotary dial phone in the lobby.
These days moms deliver and recover in the same room...with an entire entourage watching! Babies don't go to the nursery unless they need care. New moms are shooed out the door within 24 to 48 hours of giving birth. There's a computer on the wall of every patient room for nurses to scan arm bands and meds into the system. Each room is private and comes with a flat screen tv. Birth announcements are immediately posted to facebook via Blackberry!
The only thing that hasn't changed is the crappy hospital food!
If you have a minute, follow this link to our local newspaper's story on Dr. Watson's big day. He's quite an interesting and accomplished character. I wonder how many people today would work from sun up to sun down for 50 cents a day? Or SAVE their money for seven years and then put themselves through medical school? Or care enough about their patients to make house calls after they'd been discharged from the hospital? Or stay married for 65 years?? And still get up, drive to work and make rounds every morning!
I'm betting not that many!
So...I'm wishing a "Happy Birthday" to Dr. Watson. Enjoy your celebration. May you continue blessing others as long as you're on this earth!