Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Poet Laureate


In this Rust Belt town, there are few young people left because they have all moved away looking for work and looking for a better financial future than what's left here. This leaves a healthy percentage of older people to take care of.

I don't mind taking care of the older population of this town. In fact, I enjoy talking with them, if for anything else, to try to get a sense of how this town used to be "back in the day."

Mrs. Highland came in to see me. She's definitely part of the "old money" of this town. She's a poet and through the years, has published a number of books which highlight her work.

Like many other people her age, she has about a dozen medical diagnoses in her chart and at least one medication to go with each of the diagnoses. She proudly shows me her blood sugar log and blood pressure readings over the past three months.

"How did you get out of being weighed again," I asked jokingly. "It's not polite to ask a woman her weight, you know," she retorted. I smiled because we go through this banter every time she comes in.

After the "business" of our meeting today is completed (meaning talking about her health problems), I start to write her prescription refills, and she pulls out a book.

"I wanted to give you this for being my favorite doctor," she sheepishly said. "I found it as I was going through some things at home." I looked at the book and it was something that you would find in the best antique shops in town - except, the book was in pristine condition, like it's never been open before.

"I can't accept this," I said. "Of course you will, because I said so," she barked back at me in her authoritarian voice. Then, she smiled, "We've talked a lot about poetry, and I wanted you to see how a real poet writes."

As I opened the book, there was her signature inside. Above it, there was the date and the following text was written out, "To My Favorite Doctor." I was so moved that I was initially speechless. All I could do is look her straight in the eye and say, "Thank You."

11 comments:

twilite said...

Hi Dr A! Wow! How nice and touching indeed to be appreciated this way. What a treat! Hm...you could be named the favorite doctor of the year eh? Haha...Congrats.

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

That's so nice. I love working with little old ladies, most of them are the sweetest people.

The Curmudgeon said...

What a wonderful story.

Pieces of Mind said...

That's a wonderful story.

I would have been completely choked up...

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

that is beautiful. thanks so much for sharing it with us.

smiles, bee

M said...

What a sweet story!

patientanonymous said...

I was discharged today and need to bring a card and some tasty treats back to the psych ward Nurses' Station to say thank you.

Saying thank you, please, you're welcome, excuse me etc... never goes out of style...

Muddy said...

Sweet story!

Chrysalis Angel said...

What a treasure to receive. She was sure to give it to someone she knew in her heart would appreciate it. It went to the right person.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Dr A - Her gift was from heart to heart. Symbolic on many levels. No doubt - in sharing her work she has honored you by sharing her soul, words birthed from her heart and deeming you worthy to be the keeper of this treasure.

What a wonderful inscription and gift! :)

It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Dr. A...

That's one of those special memories that you will have for the rest of your life.

Long after she has gone.

An heirloom of a memory.

later...