I had been meaning to write the following blogpost for the past weeks and decided to do it today. I was also inspired by a LinkedIn post from a writing community co-member to try out ChatGPT the AI Author bot from https://chat.openai.com/chat. Here’s a comparison of what I wrote in one 25 minute Pomodoro and what ChatGPT wrote in 25 seconds.
A too late early Christmas Present – by James Jap – 25 minutes
Communication had become difficult and was another thing that cancer had robbed her of. She had lost her voice and had to write words down in order to communicate.
She had tried various methods from good old paper and pen, and had settled on a whiteboard and a set of markers.
This worked well enough but due to her condition at times the whiteboard would become wet and then the markers could not write clearly. Waiting for the marker and the board to dry off meant a delay in communication.
Simple gestures could be made in an attempt at impromptu sign language but it could not convey what she wanted to say.
She could mouth words and some people were better than others at reading lips but this was not something that could be counted on.
I had enjoyed getting to know her and we had exchanged witty banter between ourselves.
I would say something.
She would write something funny in response.
She made fun of my hairstyle. She talked about my bathroom habits and my general appearance.
I talked about referring her to our physiotherapist to help with mobility and to help with clearing chest secretions.
She wrote, “I don’t want them thumping me.”
I replied that I would not let our Physio-terrorist do that to her.
She raised her eyebrows in quizzical fashion.
Despite severe pain she never lost her sense of humour.
Christmas was coming up and I wanted to surprise her.
I had seen some electronic notepads in one of those stores that used to sell books, I think people in the past called them bookstores. I made a plan to buy one for my patient.
I thought that having something with an LED screen that could be written onto with a stylus could be handy for her, and it could be erased with the press of a button.
I went out to search for this little notepad but not being an experienced shopper I made a number of mistakes.
I knew there was a bookshop nearby in the local mall, I headed out to the mall, and then could not find the bookshop. In the three years since I had been to the mall, the bookshop had closed down.
I looked for other bookshops but then smartened up and looked up where I could buy the electronic notepad from a local shop.
I found it and proceeded to the shop, I asked three people for their assistance but no-one was able to help me.
The fourth person at the customer service desk confirmed my worst fears, they were out of stock. But I could go across town to their other branch which had stock.
Off I went with my phone’s battery running out, making GPS a soon to be unavailable feature. For some reason traffic is busier in the weeks before Christmas. Shops are also busier and people seem more stressed and less friendly.
I arrived at the other store branch and again asked for assistance showing the store worker a picture of what I wanted to buy. He was helpful and led me right to a shelf which contained non-electronic clipboards.
On his second attempt we found the electronic notepad I had been searching for. Success at last. I tested it out, I could write on it easily with the supplied stylus and it erased with the touch of a button.
I presented the electronic notepad as an early Christmas present to my patient, and showed her how to use it. She thanked me in writing and I said I would catch up with her the next day.
The next morning I went to see the patient but the electronic notepad was not in sight. The old whiteboard was there.
Had my early Christmas present come to late to be of use?
My patient was much slower to respond to any questions, and even had greater difficulty in writing. She had deteriorated overnight and was not her usual self. Her usual quick wit had slowed down markedly and she was not as clear in her mind as she had been just yesterday.
A lot can change in a day in a palliative care setting and here was a clear example of the change, she had changed cognitively overnight and was not longer able to use the electronic notepad.
I worried that this meant that she might only have a short time left to live, and this was conveyed to my patient and her family.
A too late early Christmas present – by ChatGPT Dec 15 Version – 25 seconds
It was the first week of December and Lucy was already feeling the holiday cheer. She had always loved Christmas and the excitement of gift-giving and receiving.
This year, she had decided to surprise her husband with an early Christmas present. She had found the perfect gift, a new set of golf clubs that he had been wanting for a long time. She wrapped it up carefully and placed it under the tree, planning to give it to him on the following Saturday.
However, on Wednesday night, Lucy’s husband came home with a big grin on his face. He had received an early Christmas present from his boss at work – the exact same set of golf clubs that Lucy had bought for him.
Lucy was initially disappointed, but she couldn’t stay mad at her husband’s excitement. They decided to return the duplicate gift and use the money towards a family vacation instead.
In the end, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The family enjoyed a wonderful vacation together, creating memories that they would cherish for a lifetime. And when they returned home, Lucy’s husband was still grateful for the thought and effort that she had put into her early Christmas present.