You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
A turpentine remedy ... unforgettable!
Apple Pie and SalsaMay 9, 2012 | 2,051 views | Post a comment
He didn’t yell at me. Not that I expected him to. He didn’t even scold me. I had thought maybe he would.
I have a condition that I had let go way too long. I have seen him many times, but I had never brought it to his attention. I guess he has seen his share of people with my condition in all his years of practicing medicine. That’s why he is calm and collected. He can’t afford to let himself get upset, for his health. But I can’t help remembering when he did yell at me.
Growing up, some of our kids were prone to ear infections. Maybe they took after me. I used to get earaches like crazy, growing up and even into adulthood. This time it was Deedee. She had awakened with an earache.
I grabbed the little bottle of the spirits of turpentine. It had been recommended to me by Henry’s aunt, “Mila.” She said it was good for earaches, so I always kept some on hand. It came in a little amber-colored bottle, and I would buy it at the drugstore.
It had worked before. This time when I put a drop in Deedee’e ear that was hurting, she started screaming and jumping up and down. She scared me so much that I couldn’t get her to the doctor fast enough.
I hadn’t been to this particular doctor for either myself or the kids. He was new in town -- the new kid on the block, you might say. Deedee was in her teens, but she was crying like a baby. They called us in almost right away. The doctor asked me what was wrong and I told him and also what I had put in her ear.
I think all he heard was “turpentine,” because he did start yelling (well, talking very loud). He asked me, “How could you do that?” By then, others in the office became alarmed and they asked him what was wrong. He replied, pointing a finger at me, “She put turpentine in this child’s ear!” By then, it was no use trying to convince him that it was medicinal. He washed out Deedee’s ear and that’s all I remember.
I was so embarrassed. I suppose he gave me something else for her. It was a good while before I went back to him. I was afraid he would think, “Here comes that crazy woman.”
He has been my primary doctor for many, many years. And if he feels that I need to see a specialist, which I have many times, he will refer me to them. He is always patient with me, explaining everything thoroughly about his diagnosis and treatment for whatever ails me. He recently became an author, and he encourages me in my writing.
By now you must have guessed who my doctor is. I don’t think Dr. Harry Chavez minds my writing about this unforgettable (to me) event. As for the spirits of turpentine, which is an oil, it is still sold today. I found it online.
People use it for wounds, bruises, and inflammations. An ear infection would come under that, I would think. One local pharmacy sells something similar. Anyway, I don’t keep it in my medicine cabinet anymore.
And Deedee -- well, she now works in Dr. Chavez’s office alongside her sister Loretta. Dr. Chavez will be my doctor until ... whenever.
Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Balance classes start July 27 (July 22, 2015)
Be a high roller in Floresville (July 22, 2015)
Bobble-head Bozo (July 22, 2015)
Cool down with free snow cones (July 22, 2015)
Copper-pot craftsmanship — CINCO Vodka (July 22, 2015)
Marion Sausage Supper is Aug. 1 (July 22, 2015)
Mu Chi members attend state convention (July 22, 2015)
Opry lineup is sure to satisfy (July 22, 2015)
Save the date for Kody Fest Aug. 8 (July 22, 2015)
Shop ‘Trinkets and Treasures’ (July 22, 2015)
SSCA seeks donations for rummage sale (July 22, 2015)
Start two-stepping at FUMC (July 22, 2015)
Texas sales-tax holiday (July 22, 2015)
The Landing offers help for teens (July 22, 2015)
What a difference an ‘A’ makes! (July 22, 2015)
Browse, learn, shop at Home and Garden Show (July 15, 2015)
Celebrate Czech Day in Jourdanton (July 15, 2015)
Daughters of the Republic installs officers (July 15, 2015)
Enjoy St. Anthony church fest (July 15, 2015)
Experience ‘The Hobbit’ under the stars (July 15, 2015)
Free Movies at the Park in Poth (July 15, 2015)
Learn to compost with worms (July 15, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary plans garage sale (July 15, 2015)
Library happenings (July 15, 2015)
Mystery blanket sparks search (July 15, 2015)
Night In Old Fredericksburg is July 18 (July 15, 2015)
Plan now for Beaver Roundup (July 15, 2015)
Teddy bears, pottery (July 15, 2015)
The bridges of Wilson County (July 15, 2015)
‘Atomic tourists’ converge on Trinity Site ahead of 70th anniversary (July 15, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (July 8, 2015)
Bobby Flores Birthday Bash is July 11 (July 8, 2015)
Early settlers of Wilson County (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Big Hero 6’ at Movie Day (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Cool Tunes’ in Brenham (July 8, 2015)
Family violence shelter seeks volunteers (July 8, 2015)
Family weekend fun in Adkins (July 8, 2015)
FHS Reunion is July 25 (July 8, 2015)
Fishing lures (July 8, 2015)
Give blood at Sacred Heart Church (July 8, 2015)
Hamilton earns rank of captain (July 8, 2015)
Memorial hog hunt a hit! (July 8, 2015)
Save the date for Home and Garden Show (July 8, 2015)
See comedians in China Grove (July 8, 2015)
‘Alabama’ to invade K-Town (July 8, 2015)
‘Dying’ brings broadcaster back to life (July 8, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (July 1, 2015)
Buses, pickup trucks, automobiles, and walking (July 1, 2015)
Davy Crockett, Depression glass (July 1, 2015)
Dog shows start July 8 (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Fourth of July parade, concert in Seguin (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Sunday Dances all month (July 1, 2015)
Free July 4 concerts in SA (July 1, 2015)
Free music, fireworks in Brenham (July 1, 2015)
Ice cream makers, tasters needed (July 1, 2015)
Jack's Cafe adds Sports Room and patio (July 1, 2015)
July is for grape stomping (July 1, 2015)
Look who's flying solo! (July 1, 2015)
Memories fly following balloon stories (July 1, 2015)
Register for state-wide Chili Cook-off (July 1, 2015)
Remembering my first haircut (July 1, 2015)
Savor: Summer drinks with calories and exercise equivalents (July 1, 2015)
South Texas Gardener reveals 'mystery plants' (July 1, 2015)
The Gathering Music Show (July 1, 2015)