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A Piece of My Mind
November 12, 2003


Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(18):2379-2380. doi:10.1001/jama.290.18.2379

I write this in near dark: 3 AM in a hospital provokes an eerie feeling. It has been home for me for the past week, and I am exhausted. My grandmother was admitted 6 days ago with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple spinal fractures, pneumonia, and an aortic aneurysm—not a good presentation for anyone, least of all an 80-year-old woman. The call came the day of my physiology final, to complete the science-intensive first year of medical school. Tonight as I sit beside her, writing by the tiny illumination of my new penlight, I smile. That pressure cooker is 2000 miles away, and right now it's just Grams and me.

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