Laugh ironic, laugh Byronic, laugh sardonic

27th May 1892 Three incidents have made me laugh to-day: the laugh ironic, the laugh Byronic, and the laugh sardonic! Firstly, on visiting an elderly patient who has suffered acutely for many years from a form of tic douloureux, I found her overjoyed at the wonderfully beneficial effects of some pills which I had prescribed. Read More …

The Neurosurgical Teaching Round

“Know him,” the Neurosurgeon said, as we Huddled expectantly, our white coats gleaming. Armed with newly honed skills in taking a history We enquired about headache and vomiting. “No, really know him,” the Consultant insisted, although we did not understand. “Listen without assuming, discover who he is and never suppose what his passions are or Read More …

Dance pseudomacabre

William Carlos Williams.  The baby is in a smother of sheets and crumpled blankets. Its left eye closed, its right partly opened. It emits a soft whining cry continuously at every breath. It can’t be more than a few weeks old. Will it live? It is the mother: a great tender-eyed blonde. Great full breasts. Read More …

In this room I had pronounced patients dead

When breath becomes air. It was my primary care doctor, calling with the chest X-ray result: my lungs, instead of being clear, looked blurry, as if the camera aperture had been left open too long. The doctor said she wasn’t sure what that meant. She likely knew what it meant. I knew. Lucy picked me Read More …