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 …

Death from the other side of the bed

Ian Rankin. I don’t really blame people for shunning the dying. I try to do it myself, not physically but mentally by painting other pictures in my head. My mother has perhaps less than a week to live. If what she’s doing now is living. Not living, just there. At least I can go to Read More …

The shock of the machine

Commentary Thom Green is drummer for Alt-J – and has kidney failure and a transplant, and deafness, all caused by the inherited condition Alport Syndrome, which came on in his teens. In short videos he talks about the shock of dialysis, how different living with a transplant is, and about his (deceased) kidney donor. There’s Read More …

Not everything is fair in health and war

Maternal Health in Afghanistan, Khalid Hosseini. Inside the old, dingy operating room, Laila lay on a gurney bed as the doctor scrubbed her hands in a basin. Laila was shivering. She drew in air through her teeth every time the nurse wiped her belly with a cloth soaked in a yellow-brown liquid. Another nurse stood Read More …

Breastfeeding aah – oh

‘Where is it OK?’ conundrums. Posy Simmonds. Commentary Posy Simmonds captures and punctures society’s often hypocritical attitudes as sharply as ever. Since she composed this in 1984, laws and attitudes have improved – but statistics are still disappointing. Further info Reproduced by kind permission of the artist Posy Simmonds Breastfeeding resources Guide (Feedgood, Scottish Govt) Read More …

Medical precautions – bloody cheek

Joy of chaperones. Posy Simmonds.  Commentary We are advised to use a chaperone almost always. A perceptive observer, Simmonds puts her finger on the lack of trust implied, and its effect on both parties. Further info Cartoon reproduced by kind permission of the author GMC on chaperones Medical defence associations, royal colleges, and medical schools Read More …

Blind life: meet the parents

Touch Life – movie from Aeon.co. Commentary A 13 minute film touching gently on anxiety about meeting a partner’s parents, being blind, screenreaders, and a guide dog. Beautifully filmed and edited with carefully framed Edinburgh scenery. Blindness is just-one-of-the-facts, and this feels a very authentic portrayal. Agata, a young, blind Polish woman, plans to travel Read More …