she is curled on her side like a child — / eyes closed, back exposed.
Physicians give their heart and soul to the practice of medicine. Caring for patients at their most vulnerable moments is a heavy responsibility and privilege that medical professionals must carry.
Dying is not / as romantic as I once thought. / I think you always knew this.
His hands were shaking as they gently peeled open a tattered envelope. I leaned forward, attempting to understand what he was trying to show us, then gasped.
Thinking. We do it all the time, from the most minute choices to the most momentous decisions. Part and parcel of our daily lives, thought is inextricable from how we see, feel and believe. But how often do we take the time to reflect? To ruminate on our experiences and flesh out how dynamically we are molded by them? Reflection is at the very core of an individual who extracts richness from their life experiences …
This period of healing set Lori on a long road that was paved with pain. She lived in chronic pain from the fistula. While her physicians delicately weighed her safety with pain relief, she learned to balance both patience and uncertainty.
A fog of emotions blankets the waiting room:
Stress and anxiety, with some impending doom.
It is morning outside, the sun barely kissing the horizon. The curtains have been drawn in an attempt to force any lick of light from the room. But one slim shard cuts through the drapes, illuminating John’s face.
Over the next few days, workup revealed she was experiencing paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, a manifestation of her occult cancer. In a matter of three days, a patient who had come in for seemingly benign constipation was told she had metastatic lung cancer.
After our first week on clinical rotations, my third-year medical student colleagues laughed about the silly and awkward things that made their first days hard. Someone was shunned for bumping into the sterile field during their first operation. Someone else couldn’t figure out the scrub machines and was stuck mismatching for the day.
When I was growing up, I used to love a particular series of video games called Trauma Center. In 2010, they released a version called Trauma Team where you got to play as various medical specialists, one of whom was simply considered a “Diagnostician.” Dr. Gabriel Cunningham’s “cases” were some of the most challenging because you were presented with an array of symptoms, imaging, and lab work and started ruling in or ruling out diagnoses until you got the right answer.
Simply put, the humanities seek to capture the mosaic of human existence across the chasms of jubilation and despair, life and death, love and fear. The humanities are both disciplines of academic study and modes of expression.