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A Piece of My Mind
February 26, 2014


Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
JAMA. 2014;311(8):801. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.912

He sits on the side of his hospital bed each morning, his body hunched in desperation. He is but a shadow of his previous self, broken by months spent in a drab hospital gown. I dread rounding on him now—his hopeless eyes leave me perpetually wounded.

I met him four weeks prior, two months into the journey of his diagnosis. He initially presented complaining of weakness: “Caught something from the grandbabies,” he surmised. His confidence nearly had me convinced. Further questioning uncovered important revelations: unintentional weight loss, nightly sweats, and overwhelming fatigue. I listened carefully and detailed the need for further testing.