Here's another in the series of jarring dialogues in which a medical student learns that integrating hospital experiences into one's personal life is an ongoing effort.
"So that's what they told me in the hospital. Congestive heart failure." He sighed and sank into his chair.
"You look good to me, though," I replied. "And that's not just wishful thinking."
"Terrible place, that hospital. They treated me like a baby. Don't become one of those doctors that talks down to people."
"No, no," I shook my head. "But, you know, you can be pretty stubborn. Sometimes that puts the team on the defensive, and makes them simplify things. What was that business about you refusing medication?"
"Too many pills! But that's not important... I have to get ready. My grandson is coming by to play some chess. He's getting very good. Going to get ready."
I smiled. "Do you remember when you taught me chess? And all those drills with the knight and the bishops?"
He leaned forward. "You were good, too. Do you still keep up?"
"I haven't played in a while," I admitted.
He began to push against the armrests. "Here, help me get up."
I rushed across the living room and grabbed his arms.
"Good job," I said. "There you go. Good job."
"That's exactly what I was saying about the hospital. Baby talk."