O is for Old
A Poem for Interns and Residents
To you, he is an old man
With hoary head and feeble mind
But look beneath the surface —
It may surprise you what you find
To you, he’s one who stutters
And struggles to find words
He knows the things he wants to say
But it’s like catching birds
To you, he oft repeats himself
In telling about his life
To me, his most repeated act
Was daily visits to his wife
To you, he’s hard of hearing
And he wears the yellow socks
That signal he’s a fall risk.
To you, he talks and talks
But you don’t listen —
You don’t know him —
You don’t care the way I do.
To you, he’s just some patient.
Oh, how I wish you knew!
In defense of young doctors, they really don’t know any better.
Plus, during this most recent hospitalization, my father kept throwing red herrings at them as he tried to diagnose himself for them.
My low point yesterday was sitting in the office of a woman I didn’t know terribly well, and bursting into tears. I simply wanted someone who knew my father to take care of him.
Medicine has changed SO much in the past 50 years.
I’m thankful there are still people there who know and love my father like I do.