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A Piece of My Mind
October 9, 2013

As If He Were Family

Author Affiliations
  • 1General Internal Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2013;310(14):1447-1448. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277277

We were at the end of our visit, and Ms L didn’t know what to do.

About two weeks prior, after having been unemployed for months, Ms L—a relatively healthy, long-standing patient of mine in her mid-40s—had started a job as a bus driver for special-needs patients. She wasn’t used to driving all day every day, especially in stop-and-go traffic, and so it didn’t take long for her sciatica to flare.

At first she had excruciating pain in her right lower back radiating into her right leg and no other symptoms. When her right foot began to feel like it was always asleep, which she’d never experienced with her previous sciatic episodes, she became concerned and decided to come in and see me, her primary care physician.