Month: October 2017
Naderge Pierre ~
As a surgical resident nearing my final year of training, I loved to operate. Whenever I was on call in the trauma unit at our large urban teaching hospital in Washington, DC, I’d yearn for my pager to go off.
I was always tired, too–but for a surgical resident, fatigue is a given. Sleep and eat when you can, get your work done and operate like a madwoman: That was my life. It felt like a high-adrenaline thrill ride, and I was enjoying every swoop and turn.
I never expected that, while racing towards the final exhilarating peak of my training, I would become a patient myself.
Ironically, it happened right after the most memorable surgery of my trauma rotation.
B entered the exam room wearing thick-rimmed glasses, tattered pants and a polo shirt. He clutched a duffel bag of clothes in one hand and bags of hot cheetos and ready-to-heat ramen in the other. The physician, an intern, could not speak Mandarin, so a medical translator was used, via phone.
“What brings you here today, B?”
As a kid, whenever I felt bored in church, I passed the time by staring: watching the flashing emerald lights in my vision shimmer. I didn’t find this sight unusual, nor was I surprised by the ever-present ache in my head. Having nothing to compare my experiences to, I figured that heads just hurt and that you could make your vision glitter by staring the right way. The word migraine meant nothing to me.
Joseph Fennelly ~
One morning in my office, a tall, slim package arrives along with a note, a portion of which follows:
I can’t apologize enough for not getting your walking stick back sooner. Since my dad’s passing we have had to move my mother (who has a memory problem) several times, and with each move the walking stick moved too.
In some ways it reminded me of my dad and the relationship you and he had. It was comforting for him and us to know he had you in his corner to lean on and support him.
About the artist:
About the artwork:
“Patients on pediatric epilepsy service are often much more complicated than the record ever reveals. Expressing this complexity visually has helped me to maintain an acute awareness of the uniqueness of each patient and his or her multifaceted needs.“
Melissa Fournier ~
Inked footprints on paper
a one-ounce trial size
of Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash
a striped receiving blanket and knit hat
folded inside a clear plastic bag
zipped to preserve her scent
a vial of holy water
a dried white rose entwined with baby’s breath
two hospital bracelets
one sonogram picture at seven weeks
three sonogram pictures at twenty weeks
a urine-imbued double-pink-lined stick
which I hold like proof
the way Thomas held out his blood-
after removing it from Christ’s