fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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September 2023

My Clientbecomefriend

I no longer see the tubes, the apparatus, or hear the respirator’s cadencing rhythm.  Your face is calm, relaxed, somewhat naked without your glasses. It seems fuller somehow; I hope (in vain?) that it is swelled with peace (and nothing sinister). I kiss your shiny forehead, saying hullo. It would have been on your cheek, but this is tricky at the moment. I expect your smile to leap up as it always does but your face is impassive.

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Kids Always Know

This is a story about failures. First, it’s about my inability as a pediatric hospice physician to do the one most important job in this tender space. Second, it’s about well-meaning, loving parents’ inability to do their part in that job.

Jacob was a smart, funny, elementary-age kid, great with Legos.

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