Saturday, February 2, 2013

This is Grady.

She was my last patient on rounds that morning. As I discussed the plan for her care, I helped her re-plait her hair since this hospitalization seemed to be lasting longer than either of us expected it would. Just as I did, my intern, with the permission of the patient, snapped this photo. I dismissed my intern off to conference shortly after that and continued talking to my patient while doing her hair.


We talked about music and marriage and children and grandchildren. We talked about weather and womanhood and whether or not Beyonce's parents got into an argument over naming her that around the time that she was born. "Wish my husband would come at me talkin' 'bout some, 'Let's name our baby BE-YON-SAY!' What kinda name is that anyway?" That made me chuckle and shake my head. As for the whole lip syncing debacle, she could care less about that. "Her voice sound kinda shrilly if you ask me." She shrugged when she said that. And I laughed out loud because I wasn't sure if shrilly was even a word but that didn't matter because I knew exactly what she meant. Her kids had all grown up and were gainfully employed. Doing well and living their lives and still making her proud. So I asked her what the secret was. To having your kids come out like that and she turned her head back to look me in the eye.

"Just love them," she said.

"Just love them?" I repeated.

"Yes. Just love them. Be around them and tell them no when they need to hear it. Best thing you can do is just to love your chil'ren. And make sure they know you do, too."

"Got it." 

I carefully braided the last one to the end of its full length. After placing the comb down on the tray table, I asked if she needed anything else and she said no. So I told her I'd be back later and she said that was fine.

And I did come back later and it was fine.

So that was that. And that was this. Because this is Grady.

Happy Saturday. That moment reminded me a little of this one.


  1. Sometimes I think I should have been a different kind of parent- more encouraging of my kids to get their degrees and oh, I don't know. Be president. But I tell you what- each of my kids knows I love them and this made me feel like I did do that right.
    Thanks for sharing.
    And by the way- I'd give anything for a doctor that wouldn't mind getting her fingers in my hair if I needed it.

    1. Sister Moon, you definitely got it right. From what I know of your children and grandchildren--they are happy, confident and fully accepting of the skin they're in. What more could you ask for? And as for the hair thing, it's kind of like this thing in my head that bothers me. I especially don't like my elders to not have anyone seeing about basic things like hair. Kind of silly, but I know I always feel better when my hair looks neat.

  2. There's something about this's everything about this post that is touching. I really enjoy reading your blog and it is very encouraging.

    To read the way that you interact with patients, students, and other people is so genuine. In our patient care courses we are being taught to consider the patient at all times, be sure to not offend them, and to make them feel comfortable. It seems that you do all these things and are able to relate to them on a different, more personal level. I love it and I hope to be able to have these kinds of interactions and relationships with my future patients!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. The fact that things like this resonate with you tells me that your patients will be fortunate. Patients are people. Plain and simple. When you remember that, you connect with them much more and disconnect far less.

      Thank you for reading here. :)

  3. You...are like...the best doctor EVARRRRRR!!!! No, doctor isn't the word, maybe doctorfriendcounselorangelcomforterhealerteacherministersista.

    Yea, about sums it up. -Renee

    1. You are so super, duper sweet. Now I know why Deanna always loved you so much!

  4. I loves for advice on raising advice ever came from my Aunt Ellen ...."raise a child other people find easy to love" She was so right.BTW.... I love that you took good care of her in whole....which included her hair.How cool is that.


    1. Oh man. I love Aunt Ellen's advice, O'kee! I'm totally going to keep that one close to my heart.

    2. I'm totally taking Aunt Ellen's advice and I'm going to write it down so I don't forget it.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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