Dun, dun, DUN!
Baked goods from patients.
Let me tell you a story…
Back in med school I spent several months at a rural family practice clinic. There I met a terribly annoying woman who was in her 80’s. She was crotchety. She cussed. She spewed all manner of vile venom.
I hated her.
One day, I had enough. This woman had been in four of five times and each time was more and more hateful. Why do you keep coming back, for crying out loud?!??? She started in on me that last time and before I knew it, I had cussed right back at her.
Bracing myself for the repercussions, I closed my eyes.
I cracked one eye open, carefully.
There she was, grinning at me.
Could it be that I had won her respect by returning in kind? Sometimes that works. Seriously.
A few days later, there was a chocolate pie delivered to the clinic from her, specifically for me. I was overjoyed! I cut a slice, reveling in my victory.
As I was swallowing the third bite, I saw it. A Christmas card. Various items were *taped* to it: paper clips, pen tops, used Micky Mouse stickers… taped down with bandaids, some of which looked as if they had been used previously. On a wound.
A lump formed in my throat.
I put down the rest of the pie and flipped open the card. It was addressed to me. From her. She said she had enjoyed our last appointment.
Nowadays I have a very difficult time eating anything made by patients. I worry about their hand washing skills. Did they lick the spoon and keep using it? Do they hate me? Mostly, I worry about those bandaids.