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 …

Too, too plain was Signor Gonorrhoea

I this day began to feel unaccountable alarm of unexpected evil: a little heat in the members of my body sacred to Cupid, very like a symptom of that distemper with which Venus, when cross, takes it into her head to plague her votaries. But then I have no risks. I have been with no Read More …

The secret in the throat

The use of force. William Carlos Williams.  The child was fairly eating me up with her cold, steady eyes and no expression to her face whatever.  But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly, and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion. One of those picture 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 …

A Fortunate Man

The fortunate man here is the doctor. Sassall meets anguished patients on his rounds – the close relatives of the dying, those who are ill and want to die, the immobilized who are made desperate by a kind of claustrophobic fear of their own bodies, the insanely jealous, the lonely who try to kill themselves, 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 …