Ronald Lands, MD
Requests for Single Reprints: Ronald Lands, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, 1924 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920.
Lands R.; Letters From the Grave. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157:454. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-6-201209180-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(6):454.
Clinic visits were a problem, even when Mr. Jones first became my patient. He had difficulty walking because his legs and feet “shimmered” with tingles and vibrations from the destruction in his vertebrae and damage to his spinal cord. Lesions in his ribs and long bones caused him pain if he made an awkward or sudden move. Our appointments soon became exercises in applied time management. As soon as he sat down, he'd start to untie his necktie. Then, while giving me an update on his status since his last visit, he'd carefully remove his coat, slowly unbutton his vest, then his shirt. Still talking, we'd slow dance to the exam table, where I let him brace against me as he maneuvered into a sitting position. Then I watched him perform a painful solo choreography of reclining without my assistance. After I poked and prodded his nodes and abdomen then listened to his heart and lungs, we reversed the process. He'd slowly twist himself back up. I'd help him stand, then we'd start the measured movements back to his chair. We finished our business of prescription refills and follow-up plans while he dressed. Many times, I hurried out the door to my next patient while he finished tying a perfect Windsor knot without using a mirror.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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