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Siberia

من ويكيتعمر
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Siberia

Grace Farris MD

First published: 12 June 2014Full publication history

DOI: 10.1111/jgs.12843 View/save citation

Last updated 17 July 2017

“What are you reading?” I asked. I looked around the room at the National Geographic maps, road maps, and library books stacked on the side table, the tray table, and the windowsill. She had been hospitalized for only 12 hours and yet it looked like she had lived here for months.

“I do not know how it translates exactly in English. It is by Thornton Wilder? This Town?” She held the book out for me to see. There were Russian characters on the cover and the only English was written on the spine, “Brighton Public Library.”

“Oh, you mean Our Town? That's famous. Do you like it?”

“No,” she said, “I prefer Chekhov.”

“He was a doctor,” I said.

“I know that.”

At 95, Nina was hospitalized with incompletely treated osteomyelitis of the right index finger. That morning, when the nocturnist had told me about her admission, it had been with a sigh.

“Sorry—Russian-speaking 95-year-old with chronic osteomyelitis, on vancomycin, full code.”

During my first interaction with Nina, I requested a Russian interpreter. When the interpreter arrived, Nina sent him away. Every day I offered to consult an interpreter, and every day, she declined.

“Doctor, I understand. Will the antibiotics make my finger better?”


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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.12843/full