Methodist Journal



The Burgeoning Field of Cardio-Oncology

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Barry H. Trachtenberg Leads Issue on Cardio-Oncology

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Heart Failure in Relation to Anthracyclines and Other Chemotherapies

Heart Failure in Relation to Tumor-Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies

The Role of Cardiovascular Imaging and Serum Biomarkers in Identifying Cardiotoxicity Related to Cancer Therapeutics

Prevention and Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Cardiotoxicity

Cardiovascular Toxicities of Radiation Therapy

Electrophysiologic Complications in Cancer Patients

Vascular Toxicity in Patients with Cancer: Is There a Recipe to Clarify Treatment?

Future Directions in Cardio-Oncology


A Rare Case of Pancreatitis-Induced Thrombosis of the Aorta and Superior Mesenteric Artery

Anomalous Origin of the Right Coronary Artery from the Left Main Coronary Artery in the Setting of Critical Bicuspid Aortic Valve Stenosis

Simultaneous Transfemoral Mitral and Tricuspid Valve in Ring Implantation: First Case Report with Edwards Sapien 3 Valve

Uneventful Follow-Up 2 Years after Endovascular Treatment of a High Flow Iatrogenic Aortocaval Fistula Causing Pulmonary Hypertension and Right Heart Failure


Do Not Pass Flow: Microvascular Obstruction on Cardiac Magnetic Resonance After Reinfarction Following Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention



Cardio-Oncology, Then and Now: An Interview with Barry Trachtenberg


Onconephrology: An Evolving Field


Herbal Nephropathy


Rolling the Dice on Red Yeast Rice


Letter to the Editor in Response to “Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy in Diabetes Mellitus”

Vol 7, Issue 3 (2011)

Humanities Full Text


Crabby Old Man

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Article Citation:

W.L. Winters Jr. (2011) Crabby Old Man. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal: July 2011, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 55-55.

This poem, “Crabby Old Man,” was sent to me by a close friend/patient because of its sentiment but not knowing I would publish it in our journal. Its origin is anonymous but reportedly came from an elderly man who died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home. It was believed he had nothing left of value. But after going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the nursing home and thence to the world. I am told his sole bequest to prosperity has since appeared in other publications. It is worth remembering when you next encounter a serious elder who you might brush aside without seeing what was once there. As an elder, it resonated strongly with me. — W.L. Winters Jr., M.D.

What do you see nurses? … What do you see?
What are you thinking … when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man … not very wise,
Uncertain of habit … with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food … and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice … ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice … the things that you do.
And forever is losing … A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding … The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? … Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse … you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am … As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, … as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten … with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters … who love one another.
A young boy of Sixteen … with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now … a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty … my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows … that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now … I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide … And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty … My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other … With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons … have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me … to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children … My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me … my wife is now dead.
I look at the future … shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing … young of their own.
And I think of the years … and the love that I’ve known
I’m now an old man … and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age … look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles … grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone … where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass … a young guy still dwells,
And now and again … my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys … I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living … life over again.
I think of the years, all too few … gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact … that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people … open and see.
Not a crabby old man … Look closer … see ME!!