"I don't just read Pulse, I adore it." --Donald Berwick MD
I was not with my mother when she died, her heart bursting
against her ribs, screaming for a violent release from her chest
I listened, ear to phone: nothing-more-could-be-done
I recall her now, prayer petals of morning’s first red rose, the perfect
Mezzo-soprano of a summer evening’s lullaby, an open window to song
Clinical colleagues reported massive myocardial infarction
I reported that I was an orphan
Once the weeks of morning sickness subside, I feel as if I've grown wings.
Even with the fatigue, it's as though someone has pressed a great "reset" button on years of inflammation. That elbow joint that hasn’t straightened fully for years suddenly rediscovers its full range of motion. My knees, too, become straighter and stronger than they've been in many years.
Even without the meds, ditched in honor of my growing baby’s health, it is my best and most dramatic remission since my teen years--the last time my hormones went to town.
During most of my career as a psychiatrist, I haven't often dealt directly with death. For the past five years, though, I have had the privilege of spending two days a week treating service men and women returning from deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Listening to their stories and talking with them about their war experiences, I've spent much more time thinking about death and dying.
Despite this, I was shocked when my wife recently told me she was planning to donate her body to science--specifically, to the Georgetown University Medical Center’s anatomical donors program.
My first thought was that she obviously has never been a first-year medical student in a Gross Anatomy lab. My next impulse was to warn her of her mistake.
a treasury of compelling stories and poems.
Includes The Resilient Heart , Babel: The Voices of a Medical Trauma and Confessions of a Seventy-Five-Year-Old Drug Addict. Foreword by Maureen Bisognano, President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Click to read more or to purchase.