A guest at the Hollywood Heights with an upset stomach requested my services. I had barely hung up when an Englishman at the Shangri-La wanted a doctor for a respiratory infection. These hotels were not convenient – the Hollywood Heights is ten miles east, the Shangri-La in Santa Monica five miles west. But two visits make for an excellent day, so I drove off in a good mood.
As I approached Hollywood, the phone rang. My heart sank when I learned the caller was the Sheraton in Pasadena, twenty miles away – thirty from Santa Monica.
This guest’s husband, who was driving to the hotel from the airport, was suffering a cough and sore throat and wanted a doctor when he arrived. Launching my no-visit effort, I explained that viral infections cause the overwhelming majority of these illnesses, so a doctor can do little except relieve symptoms. I suggested discussing this with her husband when he arrived, and I left my phone number. She agreed. With that weight off my shoulders, I continued on to the Hollywood Heights.
After finishing, I reversed my course and headed for Santa Monica. As I neared the hotel my phone rang. “A friend of mine found a bottle of amoxicillin,” said the Shangri-La guest. “I think I’ll give it a try and save you the trip.”
Having lost that visit, I immediately called the Pasadena Sheraton. The husband had arrived, and they had decided to wait.