The little voice tells me that I am fraudulent. All the other doctors know more. They understand renal tubular acidosis. Even the residents (trainees) knew about ADAMTS13 antibody in TTP (Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a blood disorder). Now, an article later, that fragment is addressed, but an ocean of ignorance beckons. How dare I do consultations in the ICU when I have never intubated anybody?
I fell in love with 9557.
I worry that in the future, doctors won’t touch patients. When I put my hand on the foot of a dying patient–and feel that it is still warm and offer measured encouragement–I am doing the work of this profession.
Telemedicine, on the other hand, is part of another world; I don’t wish it to go away, but that it coexist with the tactile, earthy, demanding, inconvenient reality of patients’ bodies.
About the artist:
Henry Schneiderman is a palliative-care physician at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT, and a professor of both medicine and nursing. He has been drawing since age five and studied for a time at the Art Student’s League in New York. His beloved wife Ro died this winter, after thirty-eight years of a good marriage. “Counseling and a spousal-bereavement support group have been helpful; so have the spoken words of friends and family, and the written words of others. This sketch is an expression of quiet, howling grief.”
About the artwork:
“On our garden deck one cold spring day I was looking at the sprouting of seeds I had planted a couple of weeks before. They were seeds I had bought with my wife, Ro, in the autumn, when she was fatally ill. As with so many other material remnants of our time–love letters, food in the freezer, clothes she bought for …