Last year, my grandmother, who was 83 and dying of everything, was my model patient for each theme. In the order of molecular biology, musculoskeletal, nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory and renal, endocrine systems and microbiology, she had or had had a melanoma, osteoporosis, hypertension, atrial fibrillation and blood clots, emphysema, renal failure requiring dialysis, hypothyroidism and C. diff. She actually did not acquire the hyperthyroidism until the month we began the theme. It was not, as one might expect, that she made me feel sad about each disease as we learned about it; rather, I had to check my enthusiasm when finding connections between her experience and my daily lectures. She was kind enough to humor my enthusiasm without taking offense. She was also one of the few people who cared about me enough to listen to me ramble about med school on my cell phone while walking home from class.
She died over the summer. I was away, but it was time and we were prepared. For those reasons and others I felt sad but not distraught.
Today, as I began to study a heap of pharmacology flashcards, drugs for COPD came up time and time again, and each time I thought of my grandmother, and whether she had ever taken them, and what side effects she had (and what drug interactions!).
My Grandmother’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together peanut butter and sugar, then egg, then baking soda. Roll into one inch balls and place one inch apart on a baking sheet. Flatten each with a fork in a cross-hatch pattern. Bake for about 10 minutes until crispy.
She liked these so much that she was the only person I’ve known to look disappointed when I arrived once with a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
The Med School Cookbook offers a weekly account of the challenges and wonders of med school as seen through the eyes of a student. Each post includes a healthy and easy recipe designed for busy people on a budget. Read the daily blog here.