Many patient encounters, often brief, have left me with a lasting impression. I reflect on these moments by capturing the dialogue, gestures or quiet observations that occur when caring for patients.
This period of healing set Lori on a long road that was paved with pain. She lived in chronic pain from the fistula. While her physicians delicately weighed her safety with pain relief, she learned to balance both patience and uncertainty.
I knew she was in a difficult legal situation that was taking an emotional toll on her. After learning that she had few visitors, I asked about her depression and how she was coping. As she spoke, I could not help but think about the degree to which her social isolation was worsening her symptoms.