Tag: patient stories

Corona, Contagion, Confusion

Corona, Contagion, Confusion

My husband Joel, age seventy-six, has tested positive for the virus–the new big C.
Joel developed a low-grade fever on March 1. We were in San Francisco, visiting our ten-month-old grandson and his parents. They’d all had bad colds, and our grandson was still coughing and producing large amounts of sticky nasal stuff, so I wasn’t surprised when Joel got sick. (I figured that I eventually would, too.)
We went to a local urgent-care clinic.

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The Cedenos 2 14 20

Lovebirds

Editor’s Note: During a summer internship with Pulse, medical student Kristen Lee had the opportunity to interview Mr. C, who comes to a Bronx family health center for medical care. He was accompanied by his wife, who never goes to the doctor for herself but frequently joins her husband to make sure that he’s giving his doctor accurate information. They are both immigrants to the Bronx–he from the Dominican Republic and she from Puerto Rico.

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King of Pain

King of Pain

I am a retired union plumber with the state of Illinois. I’ve had laparoscopic surgery on both knees, a lower back surgery that required two stainless rods and I’m not sure how many screws, and three cervical fusions. I now suffer from neuropathy (nerve dysfunction) in my feet. They’re painfully numb: A shoe could come off, and I wouldn’t know it. I find it difficult to get around–not to mention embarrassing when I go back

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Shock Treatment

I sat in the cold, sterile examination room, anxiously awaiting my new orthopedic doctor–the fourth in two months. I was losing hope of ever finding a doctor who would listen to me. The first three had suggested that my pain was all in my head
I want someone to take me seriously, I brooded. I don’t want to be brushed off as the stereotypical hysterical female. My pain is real, and I’m not crazy. I

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Unexpected

Christine Loftis ~

“You’re twenty-seven-and-a-half weeks pregnant.”

As I lay on the exam table, time froze.

How can this be? I wondered dazedly. I’m a second-year medical student. I’ve just completed a course in female reproduction and endocrinology. How could I have missed the signs?

I attribute my obliviousness to the surgery I’d gone through only months before: the removal of a twenty-seven-pound, mucus-filled ovarian cyst. My lack of menstrual periods

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Elephants: Another Day with CFS

Linda Koebner ~

Two elephants won’t leave me alone.

Every morning, as I struggle into consciousness, my brain makes plans. I will get up out of bed, go pee, find my way to the kitchen, put water on to boil, fit the paper into the coffee filter, grind beans, slow-pour over the grinds….

In my mind’s eye, I visualize that the coffee is hot, that the news I read is upsetting

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I’m Still Here

Inez Martinez as told to Erin McCoy ~

Editor’s Note: Having just finished her first year of medical school, Erin McCoy became a summer intern for Pulse and embarked on a project to collect patient stories through interviews. One day, a family-medicine resident at a Bronx family health center told her about an interesting lady in Exam Room 8. “I go there,” Erin says, “introduce myself and explain my mission. She agrees to speak

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A Poetic Stroke

Thomas E. Schindler ~

Editor’s note: This Sunday will mark the last day that we accept poetry submissions this year. We offer today’s story in honor of the poets who are sending us their creative works for consideration.

For the past few years, since becoming a grandfather, I have indulged in an afternoon nap. Last year, while arising after a nap, I fell on my face–hard. Cautiously, I got up, and then carefully lay

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Sick of Being Sick

Ryan Nesbit ~

From second through fifth grade, I mastered the art of being sick. I got out of school, soccer practice and piano lessons so that I could be the child I wanted to be–not sick, but loved, cared for.

Here was my recipe:

1. Wake up.
2. Feel anxious about the day to come (this was natural).
3. Let the anxiety morph into a sickly pallor.

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A Survival Guide to Chemo and Radiation

Lynn Lazos ~

Chemotherapy and radiation are not pleasant experiences, but knowing how to handle them can make your life a whole lot easier.

I had my first mammogram at age thirty-five, and for the next thirty-five years I had mammograms regularly. On my way, I’d pass the entrance to the Thomas Johns Cancer Hospital, outside of Richmond, VA, never thinking that I’d one day cross that threshold myself.

When I

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