This week’s Saturday Essay in The New York Times is about the relationship between a woman with ALS and her Syrian doctor:
“I knew I was lucky. Motor neuron disease is incurable and most people who have it die within a year or two, maybe five. But I was still alive. Soldiering on.
So when my doctor said I was fine, he meant he had discovered nothing new and alarming during this exam. I was holding steady. I wasn’t fine but I wasn’t dying, either.
We met every three months. The regularity of these appointments, and the close monitoring that the schedule suggested, should have terrified me. Instead, it made me feel safe. As time passed, I realized it wasn’t just the monitoring that brought me comfort but the doctor himself.”