Pectoriloquy |

Every Breath an Inspiration FREE TO VIEW

Ricardo J. Gonzalez-Rothi, MD, FCCP
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Editor’s Note:The author writes, “ The poem ‘Every Breath an Inspiration‘ was written as a global expression of a physician’s respect for a patient’s beliefs. An academic pulmonologist for over three decades with a primary emphasis on scientific writing, Ricardo is a relative newcomer to fiction.”

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

—Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

Alachua, FL

Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

Chest. 2016;150(4):976. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.05.027
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    She sat in the waiting room,
    Skinny, depressed, wrinkled.
    Regretted being there.
    Daughter-the-nurse INSISTED.

    Abnormal x ray.
    “Short-of-breath, sometimes”
    She panted around words of denial.

    I spoke of
    crackles, and clubbing.
    Daughter-the-nurse glared,
    index finger inflicting the radiological verdict:
    “Pulmonary fibrosis cannot be excluded”.

    A little laugh from under the table…
    “Sarah, come out now, meet the doctor”.
    “Meet my granddaughter”
    She said.

    Beneath the table gleamed two eyes,
    brown as chestnuts,
    framed by an impish face,
    intent on staring at my stethoscope.

    I was about to launch into
    the “Pulmonary-Fibrosis-not-good-Prognosis”
    Grandma interrupted.

    “You know, Sarah had brain cancer at age one.
    They said she was inoperable and gave her radiation.
    Didn’t think she’d live beyond four,
    here she is, six, and the brightest student
    in first grade,
    plays the piano and sings…
    She’s my pride and joy.
    I plan to be at her high school graduation.”
    She said.

    “Well, it may just be you have had this pulmonary fibrosis for
    some time, and who knows how often people stay the same
    or… get worse, or improve…
    How about you come back to see me after Sara graduates?”,
    said I.

    She winked
    And for the first time,
    felt understood.




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    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
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