#WeBelong, Day 2 of 7

Grady wards, 2009

Pt: “Hey Doc Manning, you got any crumbsnatchers?”
Me: “Yup. Two wild ones.”
Pt: *squints* “Ooooh! They ain’t wild, is they?”
Me: “Chile. One of ‘em fell out last night in the toy aisle at Target.”
Pt: “Whaat? Lawd!”

My team looked puzzled.

Me: “Hold up. Do y’all know what a crumbsnatcher is?”


One of the interns spoke first.

Her: “I mean, from context clues, my guess is . . is it . . . kids?”
Pt: *points* “Ding-Ding!”

Me: “Yeah. Kids. Usually little ones. ”
Pt: “Yeah and the type that cut the fool out in public.”


Student: “Cut the fool?”

The patient and I exchanged glances. Then we exploded in laughter. So did the nurse who was flushing his IV.
Nurse: *shakes her head* “Chile. Us Black folks is undefeated when it comes to making up words and sayings.”
Me: “I know that’s right!”


Student: “Wait. I still don’t know what ‘cut the fool’ means.”
Nurse: “It’s your kid falling out in Target.”

Student: “Falling out . . . of what?”
Intern: “Sounds like he threw a tantrum?”
Me: “Yep. And I called my daddy and said, ‘Your grandson is up in Target cutting a fool.”


Things quieter down and we prepared to leave the room.

Me: “Alright then, sir.”
Me: “We’ve put in your discharge, okay?”
Him: “Okay! And you said tests from when I was running off came back okay?”
Me: “Yes, sir. They all came back negative.”
Nurse: “They also stopped that stool softener.”


We all waved good bye and walked out of the room.
The student stopped in the hall.

Student: “Um Dr. Manning?”
Me: *turning to face them*
Student: “So . . . ‘running off’ is that. . . diarrhea?”

I paused and smiled. Then I gave a slow nod.

Me: “It’s a term I grew up hearing my folks say. They’re from Alabama.”

Student: *quietly* “I love that. And I loved . . . that.”

We both looked back toward our patient’s room.

Intern: “Did your son really throw a tantrum in Target?”
Me: *shrugs* “That’s what crumbsnatchers do.”

And our whole team collectively laughed.

Because we got it.
Funny. I used to hold back on embracing racial and cultural concordance in front of others at work. Mostly it was out of fear that I needed to assimilate to succeed.

But eventually I realized that the exact opposite was true.

And that it was better
Better for my wellness.
Better for my learners.
Better for my patients.


My crumbsnatchers are now nearly 6 feet tall. The one who fell out in Target is now driving.

And while he does still cut the occasional fool, it’s only in the form of pranks on his mom.

Pat Benatar said it beautifully:

“We belong to the sound of the words we've both fallen under. . .”

Word like

Falling out
Cutting the fool
Running off

And so much more.

And also
Your words, too, okay?

#WeBelong 💛

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Kimberly D. Manning, MD

Kimberly D. Manning, MD Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @gradydoctor

Jul 7
#WeBelong, Day 1 of 7

I considered myself one of the ones who knew. Knew what to say and what things weren’t cool.


I spoke your pronouns with my whole chest. Bent over backwards to prove that I was one of the good ones. And, for the most part, you seemed appreciative.
I felt like I was affirming you. And modeling all the the things that should be modeled.

Then one day we were talking about a transgender patient on rounds. And, while gender had nothing to do with why she was hospitalized, that aspect kept taking center stage.

I could feel things getting weird. You shifted on your feet and stared at a spot on the floor. That’s how I knew.

Then someone said something that made you look up.

Them: “Well, this patient is still, you know, transitioning. Like from male to female.”

This patient.
Read 8 tweets
Jul 2
July 1, 1996

Her: “This one looks straightforward. Ran out of meds, feels short-winded.” *stares at index card* “Vitals underwhelming.”

I stared at her trying to look cool. Although cool is not what I felt.

Her: “You know where the Red Zone is, right?”
I mean, yeah. Technically I did know where it was from our orientation week a few days before. But I didn’t KNOW know.

She must’ve read my mind.

Her: “Don’t worry. There’s only 2 zones. I’ll be right down. Just go do the H&P and start the work up while I finish up here.”
She stomped her feet back into her clogs and walked off.

I turned her words over in my head:

“Do the H&P” — okay, that I could manage. But that other part? That’s what scared me to death:

“Start the work up.”

I wiped my face with my palm and bit my lip.

Oh no.
Read 18 tweets
Jun 21
I was rounding with my team recently and you were our new patient. A student had presented your case at the bedside. You listened intently and offered corrections where needed. After examining you, I paused and twisted my mouth under my mask.

I narrowed my eyes.
This didn’t make sense to me. And to be clear— it may very well have made sense to someone else.

Just not me.

You: “You alright over there, doc? Look like your wheels turning hard.”


Me: “You got me. Yeah, I’m just trying to put this all together.”

Like, your physical exam fit the story. And part of your lab tests and imaging aligned with the leading diagnosis. But then there was this other part of your blood work that threw a curveball.


And so. I told you and my team exactly that.

Read 14 tweets
May 28
Time of death: 3:46 PM.

The ICU fell silent. A heavy cloak of sorrow pressed down on the room.


The familiar rush of heat came to my face. Next came the prickling in my eyes. Once the tears started I knew they wouldn’t stop.


I needed to get out of there.
She was my patient. And out of deference I knew I should still myself and stand in the awful with the team.

But I needed to get out of there. Before I started to cry.

Because we don’t do that. Not here. Not in front of people.

At least, that’s what I’d been taught.
See, when I was a med student on my OB rotation, I was assisting on an emergency delivery. When the baby was born, there was no pulse or spontaneous breaths.

All hell broke loose.

Thumbs compressing a tiny chest. Meds. Intubation and O2.

And then . . . nothing.

Read 16 tweets
May 10
Grady wards

Him: “I got a bone to pick with you.”
Me: “Me?”
Him: “You.”

He pointed at me for emphasis.

Him: “I’m not so sure I like how you was talking ‘bout me.”

I sifted through my head to try to think of any verbal missteps. I waited to see what he’d say next.
Him: “I know you said y’all was gon’ do some ‘shop talking’ about me. But look like you forgot I was even there when you got to saying what you was gon’ say.”

I felt my face grow warm. I decided to just keep listening.

Him: “You talking ‘bout some ‘That’s impressive!’”
Wait. Was that the bad part?

My brow furrowed and I pressed my lips together. He went on.

Him: “But like, I knew from how you said it that you ain’t mean impressive in a good way. I mean, not how most things that impress a person impress ‘em.”

Read 12 tweets
Apr 14
I was sitting down doing some work in a quiet area at Grady one day and this little girl, who was with her grandma, walked right up to me and touched my stethoscope.

Her: “Are you a doctor?”
Me: “I sure am.”
Her: “For real?”
Me: “For real!”

I handed her my stethoscope.
She slung it around her neck.

Her: “Is it fun being a doctor?”
Me: *squinting an eye* “Hmmm. You know what? It’s hard sometimes but, to me? It really is fun on most days.”

She seemed to like that answer. Now she was putting the ear tips into her ears. I helped adjust them.
Her: “I can be a doctor, too.”

I loved her firm tone and the way she said it to me pwith full eye contact. This was a statement—not an aspiration.

Me: “You know what? I bet you can.”

She placed the diaphragm on her chest. Then her eyes widened.

Me: “What’s your name?”
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!