Amy McVay Abbott ~
My husband, who's had type 2 diabetes for twenty years, had been struggling for a long while to lower his hemoglobin A1C--a number that measures how well he's managing his blood sugar over time. When he and I finally investigated the issue, it turned out that someone close to him was thwarting his efforts.
This person is an addict. Her drug of choice is sugar--often candy no self-respecting adult should want, like Milk Duds or Necco Wafers. She'd order a lemon-drop martini and be just as happy if it came without the vodka.
Houston, we have a problem. That problem is me: a wife who couldn't fully accept her spouse's health problems.
Cathie Desjardins ~
Rusted nearly through at the base
of their pale green throat,
the amaryllis buds are trying to bloom,
like a person with a tracheotomy
trying to say a poem.
I snip off the buds, leaking dark red
from their diseased wound, trimming
them to clean pale stubs to put in water.
Day to day, the largest furled bud
is loosening into white wrapped wings.
The other three buds are tinier versions
of each other like Russian nesting dolls.
They are plumping with white petals
veined green but their nubs
are softening in the water and I don't know
if they can ripen without earth.
Lying next to you on a sleety day
I look over at them for a lesson
I might learn, wondering
if I should furl my body closed
Krithika Kavanoor ~
When I first met Ms. Ruiz, I was barely three months into my first year as a family-medicine resident. I was working harder than I'd ever worked before, and continually facing new challenges. I knew that I was learning, and so I persevered, but opportunities for self-doubt were abundant.
Maybe that was why Ms. Ruiz made such a big impression on me.
A middle-aged woman with a small frame and short black hair, she'd been admitted to the hospital overnight for severe abdominal pain and jaundice. Resting quietly in her bed, she listened intently to my colleague's presentation of her case, her sharp eyes fixed on his face. I too listened carefully, and gathered that she would be with us for some time for the CT scans, blood work and other tests needed to pinpoint the cause of her symptoms.