Today I timidly approached the small, elderly patient of mine when I realized she was crying. Not the loud sobbing sort of crying, but very silently, just letting the tears fall. The sure, fat tears that come with soul shattering pain. Her accent was thick, but the gist was, she felt descriminated against. She hid her face as she explained to me feeling like everyone hated her because they laughed at her. She took deep breaths as I asked her why she hadn’t told anyone. She had been on the unit for 3 weeks already. She finally met my eyes and asked me who she could tell, who she could trust. It was the very people assigned to take care of her who were the ones laughing at her. I didn’t know what to say. Regardless of whether anyone had really been laughing or not, or even been directing their laughter at her, it was the reality she had experienced. And then she told me that if she were ever to be hospitalized again, she would never come back to my hospital. And my heart broke. She had come into my life right when I needed her, when I needed to hear someone tell me how proud they are of me and the life I’ve lived. She had touched my heart with those 5 words. She had been on the unit for 3 weeks now, and yet I’d only known her for 3 days. And I hadn’t been able to return the favor. The one personal goal I live by, to bend over backwards to ensure my patients atleast feel comfortable and safe, I hadn’t done. This person who had touched me so deeply, I had failed. It broke my heart. And when she left, she gave me a long hug, never holding anything against me. We wished each other well, sincerely, and then she walked out of my life.