A patient recently asked about the crocheted stirrup covers we use in our office. I told her the story behind the original ones, which she enjoyed, so I thought I would share the story here.
About fifteen years ago, Geraldine came to me as a new patient. She was 78 years old and was having some abdominal symptoms. She had already seen a few doctors over a period of time, but no one had been able to diagnose the cause of her symptoms. I did a work-up on her and unfortunately had to tell her that her symptoms were coming from ovarian cancer, which at this point was pretty advanced. Because of her poor prognosis, even with treatment, she opted to not be treated for the cancer. In a matter of months she was too weak to get out, so I began to make house calls on her. Every couple weeks I stopped by her apartment to check on her, but mostly we just talked.
During one of these visits she told me she was so appreciative of my having diagnosed her problem, even if it was not fixable, and for my coming to see her in her home. She wanted to show her appreciation by doing something for me. What did I want her to do? She was quite weak, so I was not sure what to tell her. However, I had noticed that whenever I came to see her, she was crocheting something. I had recently read about a doctor trying to make those horrid office stirrups more comfortable by putting crocheted covers on them. I told her about the idea and asked her if she could make a pair for me. Geraldine was ecstatic and within a week she had made me a whole bag of crocheted stirrup covers. A month or so after this, Geraldine passed away.
Our stirrup covers have now been replaced several times over, but to this day, whenever I use them, I am reminded of Geraldine and the simple task that brought a sense of purpose to the twilight of her life.