1/ Her: "Why haven't you left for L.A. yet?"
Me: "Huh? Oh. Yeah. I'm pretty much almost done. It's okay."
Her: "But, like is it?"
Me: *sighs* "Me rushing there won't change anything."
Her: "Depends on who you ask."
And after that, we both went back to charting. 2/ I was on the hospital service last April when I got the news. Dad had this sudden onset of disabling vertigo. We'd learn it was a cerebellar stroke. My sister was there in LA. At the bedside and wringing her hands as next-of-kin.
So she kept me posted.
And I kept rounding.
May 10 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
1/ Me: “I’m glad to see you.”
You: “You know what? I’m glad to see you, too.”
Me: “You know how you’re loved, don’t you?”
You: *smiling gently* “I do. I think that’s what makes this so hard, you know? Can’t feel a loss like that without feeling a love like that.” 2/ We both let out big exhalations. After a few beats, you swung your head in my direction.
You: “How are you?”
You: “Yeah. You.”
Me: “I’m fine. I just wish... um… you didn’t have to feel what you’re feeling.”
You reached out for my forearm. And then sighed again.
Apr 13 • 6 tweets • 4 min read
1/ I just finished this beautiful, courageous, and searing memoir “I Can’t Save You” by @CQ__MD. It was . . . in a word. . . sublime.
And full disclosure—as his former med school advisor & friend—I love Dr. CQ.
I also love books and honesty.
And he knows that. 2/ @CQ__MD will be the first to tell you that I won’t endorse anything—even a book my my beloved little bro CQ—unless I’d read it myself and believed others should, too.
And now I have.
And wholeheartedly I do.
But before you jump in—and you should—let me say this. . .
Mar 18 • 11 tweets • 8 min read
1/ Thought I’d show some Black joy from this year’s #MatchDay. Because sometimes we don’t see that enough.
And there IS joy.
Especially on this day.
The ancestors are surely rejoicing. I know I am.
I think the words of Jill Scott will say it best. . . 2/ “I'm taking my freedom
Pulling it off the shelf
Putting it on my chain
Wear it around my neck
I'm taking my freedom
Putting it in my car
Wherever I choose to go
It will take me far . . .”
Mar 14 • 20 tweets • 7 min read
1/ I had imagined what this day would be like. Played it out in my head and saw various iterations of me exploding in celebration.
In some versions, I was doing the running man or, quite literally, running in triumphant circles, #MatchDay envelope in hand.
"Wooo hooo!" 2/ I also saw these visions of me quietly weeping, one hand extended to the heavens in gratitude. My lips quietly murmuring prayers of thanksgiving.
See, I was my ancestors' wildest dreams. And not even just my enslaved ancestors but the Jim Crow survivors who raised me, too.
Them: “Okay, I’ll dial up a Spanish interpreter while we walk over.”
Me: “Oooooh. Can we call for the in-person one instead?”
Me: *starts dialing* “They come quick, I promise.”
Them: “No. . . umm. . . it’s fine.”
It did not seem fine. 2/ Though it’s been over 20 years, I remember what it was like to be a resident. I also remember the dreaded feeling of an attending speed breaker when I was trying to get a lot done.
Me: “I know it takes a little longer to call an interpreter.”
Them: “It’s cool.”
You looked at me and smirked. I paused with my hand on the switch.
You: “That’s in the script?”
Me: “Say what now?”
You: “What my druthers is when it come to anything.”
You: “We don’t call no shots.”
Ooph. 2/ Me: *nervous laugh*
You: “Y’all be asking stuff like we got a say. But then y’all do what y’all want. Wake you up and stick you with a needle. Put some cold hands on you. Talk your damn head off.”
You: “Oh wait. You do get to pick what you gon’ eat.”
Jan 28 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
1/ Today at Grady
Them: "Did you watch it?"
Me: "I saw a part of it this morning. But that was too much so I stopped."
Me: "Did you?"
Them: "I ain't gon' even lie. I did. I kept saying I wasn't but I did."
Them: "Know what? I actually don't even recommend you watch it. 'Specially not the real bad parts."
Them: "Plus you got manchildren. It'll fuck you up too much." *covers mouth* "I mean, mess you up."
Jan 27 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
1/ You: “Is Atlanta home for you?”
I finished tying the back of your gown and stepped around to face you.
You: “Is here your home town?”
Me: “No, sir.” *shaking head*
You: “Hmmm. But Georgia, right?”
I laughed and shook my head again. You furrowed your brow. 2/ Me: “I’m was born and raised out west. Specifically Inglewood, California.”
You smirked and squinted an eye at me. Then you sucked your teeth.
You: “Yeah right.”
Out came a gravelly chuckle then your face grew serious.
You: “California, you say?”
Jan 24 • 13 tweets • 4 min read
1/ You were off the floor when I’d tried to see you earlier. You were gone again when I came back after lunch.
Now it was late afternoon. I tapped on the wall next to your bed and was glad to see the mound of your feet under the covers.
You: “Heeeey. Come on in.”
So I did. 2/ The television was blaring overhead. A guest chef was doing a cooking demonstration and lauding the merits of lime zest.
You: “Lime zest?” You snorted and gave your head a tiny shake. Then you repeated yourself. “Lime zest.”
I looked at you and gave a neutral nod.
Jan 6 • 11 tweets • 7 min read
1/ If bright-eyed, bushy-tailed neophyte faculty me had joined @EmoryGIM with the process described in this @JHospMedicine piece? I am certain that I would’ve been promoted far sooner.
Especially as a woman and a minority.
For us? This piece was personal.
Let me explain. 2/ There are so people in academic medicine working super hard but not getting any closer to promotion to senior ranks.
When I started, I just assumed that as long as I kept showing up, one day a trumpet would sound and someone would tell me it was time to “go up.”
Dec 9, 2022 • 20 tweets • 5 min read
1/ When I saw you on rounds that morning you were quiet. Your eyes looked in my direction but were otherwise vacant.
This was a change.
Me: "You okay?"
There was coolness in the way you spoke. After that, you turned away from me and faced the wall.
Ooph. 2/ I asked you to sit up in bed and carefully untied the back of your gown. I searched your back with my stethoscope.
Me: "Can you take a deep breath?"
You: *deep breath*
Me: "And let it out."
You: *let it out*
You did as I asked. But it was all business.
Nov 20, 2022 • 16 tweets • 5 min read
1/ I reached into the console and fished around for my badge. It wasn’t there. My brow furrowed.
Me: “Badge, we are not doing this today.”
My hand swept over my passenger seat as I eked closer to the parking garage. Still no badge. Now I was almost at the entrance.
Grrrr. 2/ In a split second, I needed to make a decision:
1. Pull up and be the person who holds the entire garage line up while calling security?
2. Pull over and scour my car for this wayward access badge?
Both options were equally annoying to me (though option 1 is more selfish.)
Oct 27, 2022 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
1/ Today at Grady, walking in with a Grady elder
Him: “Hey Miss Doctor.”
Me: “Hey there, sir.”
*walking to entrance*
Him: *stops* “Umm, Miss Doctor?”
Him: “I just want to be sure that’s how you want your sock and your pants leg to be.”
I pause and look down. 2/ My pants leg was jammed into my sock. My sock that I pulled from my son’s sock basket. The Superman one with a hole in it. That didn’t match my other one.
Him: “I wasn’t trying to be in your business but something told me that wasn’t the look you was going for.”
Oct 18, 2022 • 20 tweets • 6 min read
1/ Grady Clinic, last week
Me: “That wasn’t my intention. I’m sorry I—”
You: *holding up hand* “Nah I’m good. I don’t want your apology.”
I parted my lips to say more but you spoke again before I could.
You: “Please just leave. Now.”
And you meant it. 2/ The student working with me shifted nervously. I felt thankful for the melanin that masked red heat rushing to my face.
You: “Don’t worry. I ain’t gon’ take this out on you.”
You looked at her & then back to me.
You: “It’s OK. I’ll still see her. Now please leave.”
Sep 26, 2022 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
1/ They stood in clusters near the emergency entrance. Their expressions were tell-tale of some abrupt awful.
Two people embraced, burying their faces into one another and rhythmically crying. Another person watched with folded arms, face covered in a sheet of tears. 2/ A few feet away, I saw this youngish man pacing & cursing. He intermittently dragged on a cigarette, muttering, "I can't believe this shit."
A woman who appeared close to my age stared into space as a younger woman bear-hugged her from behind. Her eyes were so vacant.
Sep 11, 2022 • 13 tweets • 4 min read
1/ There are these moments in medicine
that are awesome
No, not the "like totally" kind
but the kind that evokes
a real, true feeling
of wonder and magic
Today, I am reflecting on a day
that I witnessed awesome
The real, true feeling
of wonder and magic
in medicine 2/ A young student doctor
stared into the eyes of his patient
a nonagenarian Grady elder
This would be a first for him
breaking bad news
or rather heavy news
to a real person
with a real life
hearing that real news
the kind of news that alters
Aug 24, 2022 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
I’m over here doing the running (wo)man, the cabbage patch, and the moonwalk. All while holding a handwritten sign that says:
Him: "Is that a tattoo on your wrist?"
Me: "Yes, sir."
Him: *scowls with disapproval* "You a doctor with a tattoo on your wrist?"
Me: *chuckle* "Yup."
Him: *squinting* "Is it real? Like. . . permanent?"
He leaned a little closer. 2/ Him: "What do it even say?"
Me: "It says 'sister.'"
Him: "'What you go and do that for? Was ya scared you was gon' forget you somebody sister or what?"
Me: "No, sir. I actually had a sister pass away in 2012."
Him: *eyes widening* "Really? Aww, sugar. I'm sorry."