A medical student’s first patient

He could not stand
Legs weak from the wasting effects of a cruel disease
Stripping him of his manhood
Denying him his future

He could not eat
His mouth cracked and dry
Saliva having made an untimely exit from his personhood
Unable to return again

He could no longer dream
He would say
As I stared at him
Longing to do more than hope that his pain patch
Would lessen the pain of not just dying but of knowing one is dying.

When …

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