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you said he likes it dark in the morning. every morning
he made black coffee by the light through the window over the sink
well anyway he used to. well anyway that’s why it’s so dark in here beg your pardon
the monitor beeped and i ate my yawn and said no problem almost my lunchtime anyway
you laughed and i laughed but he did not see the joke
“He basically killed me,” Sam said flatly, sitting my office. “I don’t want to talk to him.”
I nodded sadly with understanding as his on-demand oxygen hissed away each moment, like the ticking of a clock. Why would a patient want to speak to a doctor who’d missed his diagnosis? Why should he?
No trauma. No radiation. No red flags.
ROS* otherwise surprisingly negative.
Her exam is unremarkable, actually pretty darn good.
FROM, negative SLR, full distal strength, sensation and DTRs.*
prescribe activity, no meds and the tincture of time.
She is fine with that, appreciative and pleasant.
Then she says, “Should I
I have seen tribesmen in the West African country of Mali meet each other on a narrow dirt path and stop to spend several minutes chanting highly scripted greetings. When they part, shortly afterwards, there is an equally elaborate farewell.
filled with meds both past and present
and read out loud the labels of those we stopped,
why he needs oxygen at night, and the rescue inhaler.
Between pills it’s my job to ask in a generic way
because his story needs a prop.
You are a big man, a little heavy, but nothing
that can’t be fixed by daily, brisk walks
or swept away by a
dose of cancer and a blast of treatment.
You have been called from your glass enclosure
to help me.
A productive, bronchial cough
is still with me–too long.
Chinese practitioners call this a lurking pathogen
tossing antibiotics into my weary kidneys
Tamra Travers ~