When I introduced myself to my elderly patient last week, she said, "Nice to meet you. But I can’t talk long because my son will be calling soon." Throughout the morning, we both waited for her son to call, but the phone was silent. Before doing anything (getting up to go to the bathroom, starting her breathing treatment) she would hesitate because she didn’t want to miss her phone call. I was starting to get nervous that he wouldn’t call because I could tell how much it meant to her. Finally, the phone rang. Her eyes got big and she nervously reached over for the phone. "Hello?" she said. Her whole face lit up and she smiled. It was him. I started to leave the room to give her privacy, but before I made it all the way out I heard her say, "Don’t you know I’m sick? Why are you calling here? Don’t call here. I’ll call you if I need to talk. Ok, bye." At first I thought the caller must have been someone she didn’t want to talk to. I asked her who it was, and she said it was her son. "Do you have two sons?" I asked, thinking the wrong son had called. She didn’t have two sons; that was the phone call she had been waiting for all morning. She didn’t want to talk to her son. But she did need to know that he cared. We went through the same routine the next day, waiting for that phone to ring. I was extremely nervous because she had clearly told him not to call her at the hospital. Thankfully, her son is a smart man who knows "Don’t call here" actually means, "I love you. Thank you for caring. Please call me again tomorrow." Lesson of the day: Sometimes it is ok to disobey your mother.