Today I made plans with Isaac, one of my 8 year-old patients with AIDS and chronic diarrhea, to watch a movie on my laptop computer. He was very excited!
When I arrived in the afternoon, he was sitting on a small, red plastic bucket with continuous watery stools and abdominal pain. He looked tired and sad. I sat with him for a few moments, but he soon asked to postpone our movie until tomorrow. He wanted to be alone.
I wanted desperately to make him feel better, but the best I could do was tell him I would return.