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‘Doc, please don’t forget to bring  your umbrella’.

That was the exact, precise sentence the voice on the other end of the line told me before she clicked her mobile phone.

I was talking to the pert and pretty granddaughter of the 90 year old Lola who the former wanted me to visit. She lamented that in the course of  three months, they had had over a dozen private duty nurses and caregivers parading out of their house because in her words ‘They couldn’t stand her. Nobody, just nobody could stand her’.

I’ve known this family for quite sometime  because I’d been a client in  one or two of their business enterprise at the time when there were only a handful of these  in the city.

I’d also been invited to parties in their new house and it was a posh post-modern   house with all the accoutrement of anyone who was cash rich. Elegant, all right,  but with evident restraint that bordered on being laid back and minimalist. Overall, the ambiance was cozy and I couldn’t wait to visit this house again.

I was curious and queasy at the same time why Granddaughter asked me to bring an umbrella.

Was there a party as well?

I’ve heard of  a wig party, a hat party – but an umbrella party?

My curiosity got the better of me so I called her back. I asked why of all the things that she reminded me to bring, it had to be an umbrella.

She gave a hearty laugh!

Was it again one of your out of this world theme parties? I asked.

No, she chuckled like a school girl.

Could it be that your roof was leaking?

Hell no, she answered and giggled even more.

Then what’s  this umbrella all about?

Okay, I’m going to tell you. But promise me you’ll go see her still even if I told you.

OK, I promise.

Tee-hee, Lola has a  habit of spitting on every stranger or unfamiliar face that shows up in the house. Boy, how she could aim  and spew at you in succession like a rapid fire at a shooting range! Believe me, you would really need an umbrella!


DISCLAIMER: The identities of the subjects in the vignettes and other stories on this blog are intended to be ‘anonymous’ to protect the patient and their families and keep the doctor-patient confidentiality or fiduciary relationship. The personas cited here are not meant to be blind items or fodder for gossip. My lips are zipped in that department. Some of their identities and circumstances have been altered but the nuances of their medical condition are fact and not hidden behind veiled medical-clinical fiction. Think Oliver Sack’s ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’. Okay, it’s like comparing Roederer Cristal rose wine with vin d’ table but  I know you see the drift.