Elephants: Another Day with CFS
Linda Koebner ~
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
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
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.
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.
Ned Towle ~
Christmas Day 2012
This Christmas is different. My wife and I are spending the day alone, as our two children and four grandchildren came over yesterday for the big celebration.
It’s 10:00 in the morning. I have just completed a nine-mile run and am sitting on the living-room floor. My wife, Linda, is on the sofa with her computer.
I feel unusually tired; rather than take a shower,
First Combat, Then Conversation
No Laughing Matter
For eight years I have endured intense pain in my left jaw. While having four surgeries, I have also undergone Botox treatment, acupuncture and physical therapy; taken a variety of medications prescribed by pain doctors, neurologists and my primary care physician; and used specially made creams, ice and heat on the affected area. Nothing has worked.
A Call In The Night
It Changed My Life Forever
Shortly after I graduated from high school and a few days after I turned eighteen on August 8, 1965, I entered the hospital for surgery. A chronic pain on the left side of my abdomen had
Nothing Left Unexposed
“Use the room over there,” she said, pointing towards the closed door to my right and handing me a clear, plastic cup with blue-twist top. “When you’re done, open the slot behind you, place the sample and close the slot door.”
It’s opening day at my cancer hospital. First peek into my innards is a urine sample, checking for protein. Too much excreted protein may signal kidney disease, a death knell to