Filler A memorable patient

Lost in the process

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39213.432315.DE (Published 21 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1312
  1. Lynette Wilkinson, social welfare worker, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, Australia
  1. lynette.wilkinson{at}hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

    Acknowledging her resilience and creativity and how difficult it must have been, I asked if she could describe how the problem had affected her life. Her response—pain, anger, frustration, and tears were her constant companions. “Feeling dumb” at primary school; this worsened throughout high school. To indicate her attendance at school exams, she would sign and hand in blank papers. Hating reading, she easily became frustrated and emotional, often complaining of “being tired” while reading or studying. Her mother assumed she was avoiding homework, and there would be arguments. Memories of the schoolroom were of fear and trepidation. Oral reading was “torture.”

    Remembering her distress and anger when people laughed …

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