Tag Archives: biopsy

No complaints, only symptoms

Peter Arnold  Sydney, Australia   Aerial view of Sydney Harbour. 2015. Photo by user Whiteghost.ink, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0 “No complaints, only symptoms,” I told my cardiologist this year. How dare I complain? I am eighty-four. Thirty-two years have passed since my quintuple coronary artery bypass; eighteen years since a diagnosis, in one of […]

The novice

Charles Halsted Davis, California, United States   The Vale of Rest. John Everett Millais. September 1858. Tate Britain. Via Wikimedia  Living in the convent at age eighteen, the novice practiced vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. All she ate was in vain, the more she prayed, the more weight she lost, the weaker she became. […]

Lost in translation

Jonathan Xian Houston, Texas, United States   Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones. Edvard Munch. 1894. The Art Institute of Chicago. At the start of residency, you should make a list of five things you value most and think carefully about which ones you can live without. Cross them off one by one until only […]

“The GBM in Room 9”: on the objectifying power of naming and diagnosing

Atara Messinger Toronto, Ontario, Canada   French literary theorist and philosopher Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) I wheeled the patient through the double doors into the operating room. As I parked the hospital bed next to the operating table, I quickly glanced at the patient’s chart. NAME: ‘J.’ AGE: 28. HISTORY: Progressive headaches, visual changes, and right-sided […]