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On Being a Patient |

A Painful Lesson

Ranjana Srivastava, MBBS
[+] Article and Author Information

From Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Victoria 3165, Australia.


Requests for Single Reprints: Dr. Ranjana Srivastava, MBBS, Department of Oncology, Monash Medical Centre, East Bentleigh, Victoria 3165, Australia; e-mail, docranjana@gmail.com.


Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(6):467-468. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-146-6-200703200-00018
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Vivid dreams tumble through my head in no meaningful sequence. In a half-stupefied state I become aware of the stertorous breathing of the woman in the room next door. Rather than being filtered by the walls, her snores are magnified to a swelling roar that engulfs my small space. I wonder how anyone can sleep here. The next minute, I am wide awake with a stab of pain. I turn gingerly in bed, wincing at the effort. Over the next few minutes the pain escalates in intensity and seems everywhere at once. The fluorescent blue of my watch displays 3 a.m.; reluctantly I press the call button.

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