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Mister Doctor Batley
  1. Nicholas J Batley, Family Physician
  1. Osman Building, 4th Floor, M Nsouli Street, Ein El-Tine, Beirut, Lebanon; njbatley@mac.com

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    Mr Lipton was always a train wreck. His blood sugar, blood pressure, or both, were routinely through the roof, and he consistently chose to hobble in at around 4 pm, which meant that any hopes I had of getting home before six were shot.

    “Hey Mr Batley”, he would say in his slurred, apologetic way, “I don’t feel so good today”. His eyes that briefly held my burning sockets would drop slowly to rest on his shoes. “I’m not surprised, your sugar is 400 again!” I would bark back while angrily reviewing his chart.

    A few wisps of hair vainly tried to conceal the effects of time on his balding pate. His brow was deeply furrowed, his mouth sparsely populated by the occasional peg of a tooth, and his gait was wide and shuffling, telling tales on his years of alcohol abuse. In his eyes I thought there resided a look of hopelessness and shame.

    William had developed diabetes many years ago. When I first met him he had just had a toe amputated, his renal function was deteriorating rapidly, and his eyesight was approaching legally blind. He took medications intermittently and had atrocious eating habits. The clinic’s van driver used to tell me about the staggering size of the sandwiches William munched as they made their …

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