Medication as a protective shield

I began collecting the used packets on the second anniversary of my transplant, as a reminder of how fragile our grasp on life is. Without my medication I cannot survive, and so it acts as a ‘protective shield’ … Extracts from Brian Keeley’s website (2016). Commentary The Artist Brian Keeley required a heart transplant following Read More …

Words as a surgeon’s tool

When a patient comes in with a fatal head bleed, that first conversation with a neurosurgeon may forever color how the family remembers the death, from a peaceful letting go (“Maybe it was his time”) to an open sore of regret (“Those doctors didn’t listen! They didn’t even try to save him!”) When there’s no place for Read More …

Nise: The Heart of Madness

Nise: The Heart of Madness (Portuguese- Nise: O Coração da Loucura)  Commentary Nise da Silveira was born in Brazil in 1905. She was a lot of things – the only female student of her graduating class in medical school, a student of Carl Jung and a pioneer of occupational therapy in Psychiatry. In this film, Nise: 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 …

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 …