The Visit


It was a busy morning, approximately 8.30 am, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9.00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, and got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had a doctor's appointment this morning as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while, and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are ?"

He smiled as he patted my hand and said,

"She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

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