Writing as patient care

I remember a rough day, one of my last days in the hospital. I had a patient immobilized from the waist down and fresh out of surgery who could. Not. Stop. Peeing. In her amnesiac withdrawal from anesthesia, she was rapidly cycling through refusing to use a bedpan and demanding a bedpan. It was madness. […]

Poems for the MRI

No matter how much time I do in the MRI I always go in a nervous wreck. My favorite writer and spirit guide David Rakoff (whose death nearly three years ago from a sarcoma secondary to radiation treatment for lymphoma in his 20’s has left the saddest and most fearful absence) gave some fantastic advice […]

An inscrutable brand of optimism and another poem.

This year: some victories and some defeats, human race. But we are brave and we adapt. We recycle our garbage. We try again. And if that doesn’t do it for you then know inevitably just like every dominant species before, eventually we’ll be gone. This beautiful blue marble will subsume us and our refuse and something […]

Poetry Monday.

image Enlightenment BY NATASHA TRETHEWEY In the portrait of Jefferson that hangs         at Monticello, he is rendered two-toned: his forehead white with illumination — a lit bulb — the rest of his face in shadow,         darkened as if the artist meant to contrast his bright knowledge, its dark subtext. By 1805, when Jefferson […]

Where the strength comes from.

This week has been crushing. Just crushing. I’ve been looking for something to settle the outrage. It’s the stuff needed by everyone who practices moral distress for a living. The things that get you by when 5 out of six patients in the ICU are bodies begging to be let die. When you feel helpless, without recourse, […]

Poetry from the AIDS Epidemic, another for World AIDS Day

Excerpt of “Atlantis” by Mark Doty About his partner with AIDS  6. NEW DOG Jimi and Tony can’t keep Dino, their cocker spaniel; Tony’s too sick, the daily walks more pressure than pleasure, one more obligation that can’t be met. And though we already have a dog, Wally wants to adopt, wants something small and golden to […]

The burn of the beam/For thirty-three days/Day after day/Of high-energy rays

The burn of the beam/For thirty-three days/Day after day/Of high-energy rays http://t.co/lpHrxSYKlP #Poetry #medhum pic.twitter.com/8PNzmiF4mW — JAMA (@JAMA_current) November 9, 2014 Writing and doctoring/nursing are twin professions in my mind. It makes perfect sense that the two things I love most in this world are literature and medicine. What a Sisyphean effort–both pursuits–spending all hours of […]

Heart haiku (as requested)

you twisted around the isoelectric line torsades de pointes

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