It was 15 years ago, but I vividly remember Bob, one of my patients in a small nursing home in rural Kansas. Bob’s health status was relatively stable, but he had lost his left leg below the knee from a complication of diabetes. Despite his physical limitation, Bob had a very good sense of humor and jokingly teased me about my Korean accent. Thanks to him, I was able to pronounce the word “sheet” or “beach” correctly without making co-workers burst into laughter.     

One evening, Bob became very ill because of swings in his blood sugar. He had to stay in bed and couldn’t make it to the bathroom on time. While I was helping him change, I noticed that Bob was very quiet and teary-eyed. I asked him what the matter was. With a catch in his voice, he replied, “You are cleaning me up, and I feel so embarrassed and ashamed.” “You are about my granddaughter’s age . . . I would never ask her to do that.” I choked up and couldn’t find anything to say.           

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