Wednesday, November 6, 2013

a thing she left behind

When I was a neurology resident at Grady, I was asked to consult on a one-hundred-year-old woman who'd been admitted for a cardiac work-up. (She had a history of seizures, and the medical team wanted recommendations regarding seizure medication.) I remember doing a double take when I saw her birth year in the chart -- 1902.

She'd been a dressmaker in Manhattan during the war. Such an interesting person to talk to. We talked about the war. We talked about dressmaking. I left my recommendations in her chart. When I returned the next day to see how she was doing, she wasn't in her room. I was told she'd died of a heart attack. Her bed was freshly made, and there was a bobby pin on the white bedsheet where once there was a woman. It was like she'd turned into a bobby pin.