The Lady with the Telegraph Morse Code

I recently saw an elderly lady at a nursing home. I have forgotten what her question was. She was a very sweet lady and I noticed she had a telegraph morse code sitting on her desk.

I got so excited. “Is this a morse code?”, I asked. She then confirmed my suspicion. Indeed, she worked in the military during the World War II and learned how to communicate using the morse code.

I asked her what was the most memorable message she had to relay. She thought for a minute and said it was the message about the helicopter that went down with no survivor at all. She sighed for a brief moment and continued to tell me other exciting things about her career.

That was the highlight of my day, learning about another life story behind the medication profile that I was responsible to review everyday.

I want to capture this story to remind myself that as I work with patients and physicians on any challenging issues with the drug therapies, we need to be cognizant of ¬†their unique personal stories. Sometimes their stories will amaze you, other times their stories may be filled with tragedies or traumas. But to make any meaningful difference in anyone’s wellbeing, we must begin with a personal connection to his or her individual story.

So let us all share our stories more. ¬†Everything we do must somehow make a difference in someone’s personal story.


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My name is Cynthia Leung and I am a practicing pharmacist in Kingston Ontario, Canada. This blog is for me to share my ideas, opinions and perspectives on how medications are used in our health care system. Note that these posts are my own opinions and do not represent the opinions of my current or former employers and / or organizations that I may belong to. Any possible case scenarios described in my posts would be modified to maintain patient confidentiality. This blog is not a platform for professional advise for patients or health care providers and the content is not meant to support any clinical decisions or replace professional opinions. Also the images are either taken or created by the author, or adapted with permission. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts!

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