Bitter Pill to Swallow

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Grandma Katherine has a poorly healing wound on her left foot. She also started developing fever and chills. She is a known diabetic and experiencing blood sugar spikes every now and then.


Physician:                     Good morning, Mrs. Katherine. How are you doing now?

Grandma Katherine:       Good morning to you as well, doctor! I’m still feeling kind of stressed because of my hospital confinement.

Physician:                     Rest assured that our healthcare team will take care of your needs during your hospital stay.

Grandma Katherine:       Thank you, doc.

Physician:                     You’re welcome. By the way, I have a few things to ask you regarding your condition.

Grandma Katherine:       Go ahead.

Physician:                     Can you still remember as to when your foot ulcer started to develop?

Grandma Katherine:       Hmm…I’m not exactly sure, but as far as my rusty memory can remember it started some 2 months ago. It only started as a small sore, now it’s already the size of my palm.

Physician:                     We need to perform a debridement to clean your wound and I need you to sign a consent.

Grandma Katherine:       What’s the prognosis of my condition?

Physician:                     We will observe the healing of your wound after debridement. If there is extensive tissue damage and life-threatening infection, it may be a bitter pill to swallow but amputation is our last resort.


  • Spike
  • Every now and then
  • (Foot) Ulcer
  • Rusty
  • Debridement
  • Prognosis
  • Bitter pill to swallow
  • Amputation
Spike To suddenly increase

Her blood sugar suddenly spikes after eating dinner.

Every now and then From time to time

She visits her parents in Tennessee every now and then.

Ulcer A cut or break on the surface of the skin

He was bedridden for months and pressure ulcers already developed on his back.

Rusty Impaired skill or ability because of lack of practice or disuse

My piano skill has become rusty.

Debridement (di-brid-ment) Removal of dead tissues to clean a wound

Grandma Katherine will undergo debridement of her diabetic foot.

Prognosis The chance of recovery from a disease

The doctor said her condition has a good prognosis.

Bitter pill to swallow Unfavorable situation that a person must face and accept

Losing his dog was a bitter pill to swallow.

Amputation To cut or remove a body part, especially a limb, through surgery

The car accident led to the amputation of his leg.




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