His Oddly Stiff Walk

A patient's history evokes dread as a physician begins to probe

By John R. Pettinato|Thursday, April 28, 2005
I had to tell the truth. Eyes locked onto mine, probing, searching for honesty, following my every move, the patient asked me again, “So this is a death sentence?” The walls of my office came closing in around me. My palms began to sweat, and words, so eloquent in my mind, died as they reached my lips. “Yes” was all I could manage. His lips trembled with the effort. “How long, then?” he asked. Before I spoke, I measured my thoughts carefully. “It vari...
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