These Vital Signs: A Doctor's Notes on Life and Loss in Tweets (Hardcover)
A doctor reflects on his profession and his experience with patients in this brilliant essay collection that expands on his wildly popular Twitter poems.
In medicine, every patient presents with a story. “Once upon a time I was well, and then . . . ” These patient narratives are the beating heart of medicine; through stories we strive to communicate, to understand, to empathize, and perhaps find healing.
These Vital Signs is a poignant series of essays—deeply personal stories—inspired by nephrologist Sayed Tabatabai’s medical experience and based on a series of poems he posted on Twitter that began going viral at the height of the Covid pandemic. Each short work is a poignant glimpse into the ever-changing field of medicine and the special relationship between patients and their doctor. In each, Tabatabai beautifully evokes the emotional tension between life and death, wellness and disease, uncertainty and hope, in a unique and unforgettable way.
Exploring themes of illness, dying, grief, and joy, universal in its reach, These Vital Signs tells stories both remarkable and utterly ordinary of a doctor and the patients who have shaped him.
Sayed Tabatabai is a nephrologist and a writer. He shares most of his work as @TheRealDoctorT with his large audience on Twitter, and his writing has appeared in Medium, Physicians Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal, and on NPR. He lives in San Antonio.