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...

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:
  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!
Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on DiscoverMagazine.com, please log in.