I come from a family of nine kids.  Doctor Key delivered all of us, except one, and that was because of the distance between Texas and Nevada, especially in the 60’s.  When I was little, my older brothers told me I was not born but hatched.  If that was true, it was still Doctor Key who did the hatching.

One of the outstanding traits of Doctor Key, was his use of the miracle called “Milk of Magnesia”.  When any of us kids got sick with a bellyache, Doctor Key would prescribe a “big ol’ dose of Milk of Magnesia”.  It cleaned us out before the bugs could multiple and take over our bodies and perhaps even kill us dead.  So whenever Mom brought us in to see him, the first thing he ask, “Did you give him a big ol’ dose of Milk of Magnesia?”  And Mom would proudly say, “Yep.”  I often thought, if Mom ever took me into Doctor Key’s office for a broken arm, the first thing he would probably say is, “Did you give him a big ol’ dose of Milk of Magnesia? ‘  And Mom would’ve say, “Yep.”

The stuff has a heavy chalk taste that we abhorred, so Mom gave us crackers to eat with it.  In looking back at those times, I now realize the crackers really did nothing but fool us into thinking they actually made the horrible stuff go down easier.  Today, it has been converted into pills.  Kids these days don’t know how lucky they are.

So, as I grew and raised a few kids, I too used the wisdom of Doctor Key.  It wasn’t until my teenage daughter had a bellyache, did I realize there may be something different about this.  I gave her a big ol’ dose of Milk of Magnesia, and when that didn’t get rid of her bellyache, I gave her another.  Still the miracle did not work, so I took her into her doctor, since Doctor Key had long retired.  When he asked what the problem was, I explained how I dutifully gave her a big ol’ dose of Milk of Magnesia, and when that didn’t help, I gave her another.  Since the bellyache didn’t go away, it had to be something sinister.  The doctor had a peculiar look in his eyes and said, “Why did you do that for?”  It was at that point, the Little Guy in the back of my mind told me something was not right.  I explained, that’s what Doctor Key said to do.  He asked, “Who’s Doctor Key?”  I had to mention that he was an old family doctor, and added that I was named after him, thinking that may quell the situation some.

He did some poking and prodding and took a spit sample or something, and said she is already getting better and will be okay.  Then he told me to take her home and buy her some fresh yogurt to replace the good bacteria that I flushed out of her system.  “And don’t do that again!” he yelled.

Man!  I felt bad…

Well, I still have not learned my lesson completely.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a bellyache that I couldn’t get rid of, so I took some laxative pills my wife had, to flush the bugs out.  Still didn’t do too good, so I went to the Med Unit and told them I have a sinister bug in me.  … and I told them I tried to flush it out with a laxative.

There was that same, why did you do that for?, look.  “Well, when I was a little boy, my family doctor used to prescribe it to me when I was… “ and I let my voice trail off to a mumble.  Well, bottom line is, she said, “You’re getting okay now, but don’t do that again!”   Wow!  I won’t do that again.

It’s amazing how medicine has changed over the years.  Mom would always put a drop of cod-liver oil on our tongues every night before bed.  So, recently I got to thinking about that and decided to find out what Mom was really giving us.  Wikipedia states: “Cod liver oil was traditionally manufactured by filling a wooden barrel with fresh cod livers and seawater and allowing the mixture to ferment for up to a year before removing the oil.  Modern cod liver oil is made by cooking the whole cod body tissues of fatty fish during the manufacture of fish meal.”  Now the question here is:  Were we getting the traditional stuff, or the modern stuff?  I tell you right now, when I was a little kid, the word “modern” wasn’t invented yet.  You figure it out.