My patient took off her glasses and said, “I can't keep looking through these rose-colored glasses. I just can't.”
I was holding her hand and both of us had tears in our eyes. Her body was sick and she knew it. I felt sad because there wasn't any other treatment to offer.
Then, all of a sudden, she looked at me and smirked. “You know what? I just noticed that these ol’ glasses of mine really are rose-colored!” She threw her head back and laughed so hard that I did, too.
After that, we just sat in silence. Holding hands, looking out the window, and wishing on invisible stars.
Kimberly Manning, MD, FACP, FAAP is an associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia where she teaches medical students and residents at Grady Hospital. This post is adapted from Reflections of a Grady Doctor, Dr. Manning’s blog about teaching, learning, caring and growing in medicine and life. It has been adapted and reprinted with permission. Identifying information has been changed to protect individuals’ privacy.