Linda E. Clarke
Once upon a long eighteen years ago, I got sick.
I was just finishing ten years of hospital-based ethics work, and at first I thought that the work had made me sick. I thought that the stress of hearing so many difficult stories, of witnessing so much suffering, was hurting me. I was wrong.
I was sick from a growth in my brain.
The growth was found after I’d shuttled from doctor to doctor, from appointment to appointment, from X-ray to scan. It took a long year. By then, my pain was clothed in shame. Undiagnosed pain does that: It draws the gaze of friends, family and providers. Everyone looks for the cause.
“Soul pain,” said one doctor. “Anxiety,” said another.