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On Being a Doctor |

She Is a Beautiful Lady

Sara Sasha Battar, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From VA Central Iowa Health Care System, Knoxville, IA 50138.


Requests for Single Reprints: Sara Sasha Battar, MD, VA Central Iowa Health Care System, Room 111 Building 3, 1515 West Pleasant, Knoxville, IA 50138; e-mail, sara.battar@med.va.gov.


Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(4):304. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-4-200502150-00015
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Dean, 87, and his wife Donna, 78, would ritualistically arrive every 3 months in my geriatrics clinic, rain or shine. They had been married for 61 years. They lived in the same home for all these blissful years and took great pride in that. From the beginning, Donna ably presumed the spokesperson's role and impressed me as a reliable and caring informant who knew Dean more than he knew himself. These interactions spanned over 4 years. The staff became accustomed to the couple's regular presence and even grew quite fond and sympathetic of their changing dynamics and physical, functional, sensory, and mental declines.

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She is a Beautiful Lady
Posted on February 15, 2005
Clifford F Feiner
Queens Hosptal Center
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

Thanks to Dr. Battar for describing a common yet frightening problem that geriatricians frequently see. It would have been interesting to know if Dr. Battar treated Dean with an antidepressant and/or a cholinesterase inhibitor; if so, was there any response? Also, referring Dean to a day care program for Alzheimer's patients might have been helpful as if might have alleviated the burnout that Donna experienced.

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