'Dead as a dodo'... I never said that but my patient swears I did

Memory is odd. It’s not as reliable as we think it is. It’s not like looking at an old family movie and checking what happened.

Memory can be selective or suppressed or completely false but strongly held.

I recently saw a long-term patient with a devoted 30 pack-year smoking habit.

For all that time, I had tried to convince him to stop. I implored and cajoled him. I tried brief interventions and dire threats.

I offered patches and gum and pills and promises of a longer life. Nothing. Zilch. Puff, puff, puff.

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