Please enjoy this beautiful story/poem by a friend, former Maimonides Medical Center cardiologist Joydeep Ghosh. The Cardiology Fellows at Maimo describe him as a “rhythm specialist”. I agree.
I got some chocolates for you
i got some Russian chocolates for you, she said. they are my favorite.
i was slightly embarrassed. looking at the EKG, i could tell the pacemaker i had put in a week ago in this 76-year old lady was not working properly.
i told her i would have to operate again so as to move the wires to a better position in the heart. i wanted her to come in to the hospital tonight. she was not agreeable; i have no one to take me there, and no one to drive me back home. but i will come to the hospital tomorrow.
but didn’t you have a daugter, a physician, who i spoke with when i first put the pacemker in? and she’s only in northern Jersey?
well, you call her and tell her to bring me in. she doesn’t listen to me, my patient said.
i declined politely. none of my business.
she didn’t come in the next day. concerned, i called her house. same reason….i have no one to take me to the hospital.
i offered to send an ambulance;. she declined. i’ll come tomorrow, she promised. my daughter will come with me
she came the next day. with a home attendant.
i operated on her. everything went well. afterwards, i called the daughter, and told her that her mother could go home the next day. she sounded happy
leaving work on friday, i was feeling good, and looking forward to a great weekend. and then i saw Mrs V standing outside the hospital, waiting for no one in particular. i avoided eye contact, but it was too late. she had seen me
she came over: you are a very good doctor, i want to thank you.
thanks, but why are you waiting outside in the cold, i asked.
oh, i wait for “machine” for one hour. but no one coming…
i called the social worker from my car. yes, there was a problem. the ambulette that was supposed to take her home had broken down. there would be some delay. also, no home attendant was available, so she would have to take care of herself when she went home.
did you call your daughter, i asked her.
yes, but she can’t come. she’s busy with her children and her family. it’s ok, i’ll wait here as long as it takes, she said politely. have a good weekend; i don’t want to take up any more of your time.
i finally made eye contact with her. and immediately looked away, having nothing to say.
an uncomfortable moment passed between us. she turned to leave.
there was only one thing left to do.
i got out of my Lexus and opened the back door. get in, i said.