Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: aging

  • The last picture show

    Katherine White Rockville, Maryland, United States   Highway 567, junction, near Taos, Taos, New Mexico. Photo by John Margolies. 2003. Public domain through Library of Congress. It was a cold December morning, the second day of the 2018 Hot Topics in Neonatology Conference in Washington, DC. Around 800 people trickled into the vast hotel ballroom,…

  • The names of things

    Joseph Hodapp Cupertino, California, USA   The author’s grandparents. Photo by Laura Hodapp. It’s a gray-sky, late-October afternoon. I just got home from work when I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. The caller ID provides a brief preface: Mom. “Hey Mom, what’s up?” “Hey Hun, I wanted to call you right away… my…

  • In full retreat

    Cyndy Muscatel Lake Sherwood, California, United States   Advertisement for the “Acousticon”, the first portable electric hearing aid, invented by Miller Reese Hutchison. circa 1902. From page 48 in “Surdus in search of his hearing: an exposure of aural quacks and a guide to genuine treatments and remedies electrical aids, lip-reading and employments for the…

  • A house call

    Martin DukeMystic, Connecticut, United States Many years ago, in the mid 1980s, when I was still in clinical practice, I made a house call accompanied by a second year medical student who was coming to my office one day a week as part of her course in physical diagnosis. The patient I had been called…

  • Understanding and combatting ageism in healthcare

    Dane WanniarachigeDublin, Ireland As I waited for the tram on a windy day in Dublin, I noticed an older man wearing a flat cap shuffling unhurriedly towards the busy platform with a noticeable parkinsonian gait. The tram slowed to a halt and as soon as the doors opened, a gust of wind blew the gentleman’s…

  • Gilgamesh and medicine’s quest to conquer death

    Anika KhanKarachi, Pakistan “O Uta-napishti, what should I do and where should I go?A thief has taken hold of my [flesh!]For there in my bed-chamber Death does abide,and wherever [I] turn, there too will be Death.”—From The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Standard Version, Tablet XI1 “O Uta-napishti, what should I do and where should I…

  • What’s hormones got to do with it? The medicalization of menopause in postwar America

    Pavane GorrepatiIowa City, Iowa, United States Introduction From menstruation to menopause, there appears to be a deliberate and constant medicalization of the stages of a woman’s life. Menopause, a biological process every woman experiences, has been cast in a negative light, a time to be wary rather than to be celebrated. This has led the…

  • Falls and art: An evolving story

    Glenn ArendtsMurdoch, Australia Coming to rest inadvertently on the ground:1 the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a fall sounds vaguely patronizing, bordering on disinterested. The human act of staying upright is a complex triumph of the integration of neurosensory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems, and its failure is associated with injury, fear, and embarrassment. Ancient…

  • The professor and the playwright on what it means to care

    Fergus Shanahan Wilton, Cork, Ireland   ALLELUJAH! by Alan Bennett. Credit: Manuel Harlan / ArenaPAL (with permission). Sue Wallace as Hazel; Simon Williams as Ambrose; Rosie Ede as Mrs Earnshaw; Cleo Sylvester as Cora; Julia Foster as Mary; Louis Mahoney as Neville; Patricia England as Mavis; Colin Haigh as Arthur; Gwen Taylor as Lucille; Nicola…

  • Tuesday: social admit

    Rebecca SlotkinNew Haven, Connecticut, United States We have a routine, Dad and I. I wake up first, turn on NPR and brew our coffee. My clamor tells Dad it is morning. This used to be my pre-work ritual before Dad started to get lost — first around town, then around the neighborhood, then around the…