Usually I like my patients, although occasionally some of them make it a little difficult. On the other hand, sometimes I really, really, really like my patients, and a recent evening I had two such. Actually, Helen, whom I have mentioned before, is, happily for her, a former patient. I remember the first time I went into her room. She had come from Alaska, and she and her husband had brought a few things with them to cheer up the room. A pretty cloth mat for the bedside table, a nice blanket for the bed, a candle, (sadly never lit – hospital rules – but nice none the less), and some other reminders of normal life. It gave her room a cheery ambiance that hospital rooms unfortunately lack. I was impressed with the way a few things could make such a difference in the emotional temperature of the room. On one of her visits, she gave me some roses which I dried and have in my entry hall. This time, she was here not as my patient, but as a friend. We went out to a very nice lunch. The little fellow on the birdbath sat outside the window and entertained us. Helen brought me several birthday presents – from the photo, you can’t appreciate the loveliness of damask napkin with hearts on it, but you can tell that the candle is a winner. They are pictured by the roses she gave me months ago.
After our lunch, I went to work, and for once had a patient for the second time in a row. I don’t know how it is, but this is a rather rare thing. This woman was one whom I just felt a huge surge of affection for the moment I first went into her room. She had the most endearing smile, and exuded all gentleness and love, despite a very unfortunate condition. The first evening we discussed the book she was reading, and the second evening, she had finished it and gave it to me. I was really touched. So a banner day at work for me.
19 hours ago