As hospitals go digital, human stories get left behind
The official reason for my patient’s visit, according to her electronic medical chart, was fatigue, though that was far from her only concern.
In the exam room, this usually upbeat woman had a sad tale to tell. Several months earlier, a close relative fell seriously ill and my patient, elderly and not in great health herself, became a caregiver. The relative’s grueling treatment proved unsuccessful and he died. Following the funeral, my patient was overwhelmed by exhaustion, grief, and guilt. To make matters worse, the relative’s death exposed some long-submerged family tensions.
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