A doctor’s notebook

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  • Published 20070803
  • ISBN: 9780733321269
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)
The woman from County Meath

THE WARMTH OF the Dublin day caught everyone by surprise. Through the window I could see children playing in the garden. We had walked into the visitors’ room. The family was waiting. They were from County Meath. He was a farmer only fifty-four years old, she a teacher. They had seven children. It was clear that he was dying. He had battled seemingly intractable pain, but now over the past few days was much more settled.

I spoke about these days and what to expect from this point onwards. I then concentrated on the family themselves and recommended, as we do, the usual things – that they each take turns in being with him, that they try to eat and sleep, that they talk to each other; in short, that they try to look after themselves through this vigil. I turned to the patient’s wife and said: “I know you’ve been here all the time. It might be good to go and have a rest, even just for a little while.”

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