Laguna Honda Hospital Resident

Laguna Honda Hospital Resident

Saturday, September 5, 2015


and US ALL

---I'd like to speak about something that Dr. Sweet mentions in her book, ''God's Hotel.'' On page 29 in one of the versions of the book she speaks of talking to a Miss Tod. Miss Tod had brain cancer that was still growing behind her right eye. The eye had been removed and her eyelid was sewn shut. Dr. Sweet mentions that she was hard to look at.

---Having gotten used to the physical appearance of Miss Tod, and after exchanging pleasantries...Dr. Sweet looked at Miss Tod and asked if there was anything that she could do for her?
She expected euthanasia, some sort of miracle cure, stronger pain medication or even a second opinion. With all the poise and equanimity Miss Tod asked if there was something Dr. Sweet could do about her food being so bland and a pair of eyeglasses. Dr. Sweet mentions being floored by the response. She helped her with those things. Miss Tod changed wards and lived another 18 months.

---What Dr. Sweet learned that day was priceless from my perspective. From Miss Tod's attitude she learned that ''somehow she accepted her fate, and it was the small things, the little daily things, that were important to her.'' Dr. Sweet goes on to speak of bravery at the core.

--She then mentioned something that floored me. Admitting that many young doctors are very healthy, curious, hardworking, etc. What do they know of misfortune? And, even when there is no cancer to deal with, the patient still has his needs and preferences. Reread the section about Miss Tod if you've forgotten the story. As I said it's page 29 in my book and lasts about two pages. It is a good lesson for all of us. Be Well.


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