The first thing I notice are the dark circles under Mr. Jones’s eyes.
It’s 4:30 pm on a Wednesday during my third year of medical school. I’m in the fifth week of my family-medicine rotation, and we’re deep into our daily routine: triage, history, physical examination, differential diagnosis, present the case to the attending physician, repeat.
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
Thuy D. Bui
“What’s my number?” shouted Betsy as I entered the examination room one day last fall.
“Oh, you mean your A1C? It’s nine-point-four!” I answered. A sentence sped through my mind: “The hemoglobin A1C number tells how well a patient’s diabetes is controlled–seven or less is good.” In my seven years as Betsy’s primary-care doctor, I’ve repeated this information at visits and included it in appointment reminders as well.
Betsy is a pale,
When I first met Florence in the ER, she’d already been dying for some time.
I was a third-year medical student doing my internal-medicine clerkship. Florence was a soft-spoken, tired woman in her sixties. To her, I was yet another face asking all the same questions, but she didn’t mind telling her story again–although she did stop
Being thorough, I remove a holey sock
to view a diabetic man’s filthy feet.
I use the time to complete our talk
of what drove him to live on the street
as I wonder how any of this can help.
While he tells me more of his medical past,
I run warm water into a stainless bowl.
ruin your blood,
runs your legs
while you sleep,
revs your irregular
Maple sap, tree ripened
orange, dark chocolate,
from the comb
are not viable substitutes;
and the eleven day
skin crawl withdrawal.
Or an asymmetrical death:
one part at a time,
organ by organ,