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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

In practice

Bearing witness to post-traumatic strength

Adapted from the In Practice blog on

Not long ago I noted a certain older patient’s name on my schedule. I really dreaded seeing her. It’s not that I dislike her — in fact she’s one of my favorite patients. It was just that I hated the prospect of seeing her looking as poorly as I knew she would. She’d been through so much: an accident resulting in devastating injuries followed by painful surgeries, and, worst, in the middle of all that, the death of one of her adult children. Surely she’d be in awful shape, psychologically, if not physically. I mean, how much can one person take?

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