Friday, February 2, 2018

Good news.

"I KNOW I almost died," he said. "My chest was hurting so bad in this way that wasn't normal. It wasn't getting better neither."

"I'm so glad you came to Grady when you did," I replied.

"You know? My friend had a heart attack just like me. Just a year older than me. He died."

His brother was sitting in a bedside chair and chimed in. "And don't forget the dude from the car wash. That dude wasn't even 50 and left his wife and like 4 kids behind."

"Ahh man. I forgot about that dude. And remember ol' dude from the Sopranos? He had a heart attack, too. And died." My patient shook his head and sighed. "That was my dude, too. I used to love that show."

The room fell awkwardly silent after that. I guess something about mentioning Tony Soprano seemed to make the possibility of death seem more real. His eyes started glistening and his face cloaked over with sadness. A tear slipped out of his eye and disappeared under his chin. He turned his head away, hoping his brother wouldn't notice.

"You know what? My dad had a massive heart attack at 56." He glanced up at me, permitting me to add another sad story to the library of cardiac sorrows. "He had to have an emergency quadruple bypass and everything."

"Damn," my patient replied. "56? That's close to my age. And your dad, too? Aaaah, I hate hearing that." I could tell he meant that.

"Yeah. But that was almost 20 years ago. Now my daddy is 74 and still round here fixing stuff and talking junk" I squeezed his hand and smiled. "You know, sir? Not every story ends with bad news, okay?"

He tried his best to smile back. "But. . .is your daddy. . . like. . . sickly?" I saw him look over at his brother, both of them bracing themselves for my answer.

I took my phone out of my pocket, scrolled through it and then showed him a recent photo of my dad. "No, sir. He is not."

He stared and stared at my daddy on that screen. "Whew. Thank you for telling me that, hear? Seem like don't nobody ever share the good news, do they?"

I stuck that on a mental post it note and vowed to remember it. Sometimes the news is bad. And Lord knows the longer we live, the more bad stories we have. But sometimes? Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they do. And those stories need to get told, too.



  1. The good new for me is that you are blogging again! Missed you...

  2. Yes! Agree. Also I have missed your voice.

  3. Glad to hear your daddy's doing well! I've missed hearing stories about your family!

    1. I’ve really missed you! My daddy is doing great! Hearing about Poopdeck really encouraged my patient.

  4. It is wonderful to hear good stories. I've been waiting since November. I'm glad you're well and writing again. I've missed your writing.

  5. I love to read your writing too. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. My husband had an emergency aortic valve replacement at 57. He will be like your dad.


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

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