Looking back fondly on work memories 4



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With so much attention today on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it is great to be able to look back, reminisce and remember. We all have those special memories in many areas of our lives, whether business or personal. Memories are not just about the good old days, but they are a way of reflecting how far you have come in your life. There were many situations and people that made it a very interesting and fun profession to be in, and I appreciate having those experiences.

In August 1973, my second patient was a tall gentleman who came in with back problems. As you can imagine, I was trying to do things right. I had my own x-ray machine and took x-rays before proceeding with care. I had set him up into position and moved behind my protective lead screen. While I was taking the exposure I suddenly heard a scream, “My fingers” – his face was contorted with pain. I rushed toward him, at the same time thinking, here I go, I’ll get sued by my second patient. I found the source of his pain. He had wrapped his finger around the mechanism that held the x-ray cassette. There is a moving part called a grid that moves and it caught his fingers. I managed to pry them loose and he was relieved. Luckily, his fingers weren’t broken and he did come back to see me again.

The third patient was a mother who had considerable experience with chiropractors. The first thing that she said to me was, “I am only coming for one visit, so fix me”. I told her that I needed to assess her problem and see what I needed to do. She repeated, “I only want to come once”. Well, two days later, she called me back and told me that she wasn’t fixed and wanted to come back. When I sold the practice seven years later, she was still a patient along with her husband and children, and they referred many patients to me.

In the 1990s, in my Perth practice, I alternated adjusting patients between two rooms. There was a French woman who was waiting for me in one of the rooms with the door closed while I attended to someone else. When I was ready to see the woman, I got her file, opened the door and there to my shock, she was lying on my adjusting table starkers. She was quite nonchalant about it. I told her it wasn’t necessary to totally disrobe, but her response was that she always undressed to see a chiropractor. She came in a few times over a number of years, but it was no longer a shock – I knew what to expect.

More recently, in 2010 we had a severe supercell storm that hit Perth with hail. Our office building was in bullseye of the storm. The windows at the back of the office were smashed by golf ball-sized hail which bounced down the hallway of my office. It was the first time that I had to dodge hailstones in my practice.

There are many other stories that I could relate and one day I may publish a memoir of my time in practice as a chiropractor. Cherish the memories! Share you own stories.

Do you have fond memories from your work too? Tell us below.

Dr Ely Lazar and Dr Adele Thomas

  1. Great article.
    With a life that has spanned many many different careers I have so many stories from several of them.
    Some of my favourites are those from my nursing days for the wonderful laughs, those from my time driving taxis on weekends in Canberra for the variety of people and stories they shared, and fabulous memories made with a great bunch of people from two sister schools where I worked as school secretary or receptionist for a total of 11 years.
    But my two most favourites are while assisting in a film editing suite and getting to meet some well known faces with some interesting stories to tell, and sitting in courtrooms for more than 11 years hearing the horrible but fascinating things people do to each other.
    Now it’s a totally different tale – as a new novelist, my days are now spent sitting alone in my study bringing characters to life using my nom de plume Jennifer Larmar. I don’t get any interaction with real people while I’m ferreted away, but I do get to take them to a variety of wonderful places and have them do some either amazing or tragic things.
    Wouldn’t change any of them for the great memories made…

  2. So many memories from over 50 years as a nurse, most of them happy, quite a few humerous and, of course the sad ones too. I miss it so much, the joy of tending to patients and the cammerarderie of a great team of colleagues. A group of us ‘old girls’ get together for dinner every couple of months to party on.

  3. Thank you for this. As a teacher I had many satisfactions and frustrations, happy times and sad ones. Lots of laughter. Loved it when kids who’d never read a book before did so, when promising students got into the university courses they wanted, and when troubled kids found peace.

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