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A Piece of My Mind
October 11, 2000

Hands That Held Other Hands

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2000;284(14):1757-1758. doi:10.1001/jama.284.14.1757

I was halfway through a chocolate chip muffin—my gold-standard breakfast of choice—when Joyce told me that they had taken you off your machines. Maybe it was the sugar high, but at first I thought she meant machines as in workout machines, and I had a momentary image of you on a StairMaster, climbing with the gusto of a woman a third your age. Unfortunately, the machines she meant were the ventilator and monitors, the IVs, and all of the tubes that had become your constant companions. In your five-week tour with us, your room number and your nurses changed, but your machines had remained steadfast, following you through the hospital from floor to floor to floor.