Recently, a patient tearfully confided in me her disappointment when a neighbor reneged on a promise to include her when seeing a particular movie. My patient had saved money from her limited disability income in anticipation of the event; it had been years since she had gone to a movie. Even after 40 years of being a social worker, I was struck in this moment by how the simplest pleasures in life often elude our patients, and how often we, ourselves, take for granted these small joys.
Over the years working at Duke Family Medicine Center, I have said that if you work in my job for two days and you cannot write a gratitude list then your life is truly miserable. My patient’s tears on this occasion reminded me again of how lucky most of us are, despite the stresses of our professional and personal lives.Read More