Tag Archives: Florida

The emergency room doctor

Rob Ottesen Vero Beach, Florida, United States   Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels. If you were to ask me, I like to have a glazed doughnut before I go to sleep because the sugar in the doughnut inhibits my body’s production of orexin, a neuropeptide, thereby ensuring a peaceful slumber. I also like the taste of […]

An avalanche of white tissues

Gail Ghai Sarasota, Florida, United States   Avalanche by Robert Qualters. Mixed media painting and drawing, 2022. Courtesy of artist. He gives me a golden pearl to vanquish the sputtering sputum cough. A red tablet to quell the scarlet flushing, and an ivory capsule to squash the bronchial terrorists that have invaded the walls of […]

Hieroglyphics

Gail Ghai Sarasota, Florida, United States Wooden Egyptian stela showing the woman Isetweret adoring the god Re-Horakhty, 945–712 AD. Distribution from the Egyptian Research Account, 1896. Courtesy of the Penn Museum.   The room shuffles nervously as the oncologist takes the microphone. He’s the first speaker at the breast cancer lecture and he does not […]

Elizabeth Barrett Browning—isolation and the artist

Elizabeth Lovett Colledge  Jacksonville, Florida, United States   Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Evert Duykinck Via Wikimedia. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is perhaps best known for the poem “How do I Love Thee,” addressed to her husband Robert Browning, as well as their courtship, elopement, and subsequent years together in Europe. However, one might revisit […]

Healing literature

Scott D. Vander Ploeg Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States   Dr. Vander Ploeg (Ph.D.) checks the lit pressure of the complete works of William Shakespeare published in The Riverside Shakespeare. Photo by Audrey Kon. Courtesy of the author. I taught English courses for thirty years at a community college in western Kentucky. One of the […]

Beloved physicians: three unsung heroes

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Illustration by J. Raffensperger Few doctors, especially those who practice in small communities across the land, are remembered for their selfless, unstinting devotion to their patients. They are not considered heroes in the usual sense and sadly, for the most part, are now replaced by dehumanizing corporate […]

The navel of the world: belly buttons, innies and outies

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Rounded stones near Ahu Te Pito Kura on the north-eastern coast of Easter Island. Thought to symbolize the “center of the world” to the culture of the Polynesian people who first arrived at the island. 2013. Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 In […]

Art or science, doctor or shaman?

Ihar Kazak Florida, United States    BEFORE: Centuries ago, such ailment was treated by a shaman. Image credit: A surgeon treating an injury to a man’s foot. Oil painting by a follower of David Teniers the younger. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark It all started with a scratch on my right ankle during a close […]

My health care crisis

Yessenia Gutiérrez Miami, Florida, United States   Fistula in arm for Dialysis. Photo by Yessenia Gutierrez. “Mom, will it hurt?” These were the first words that came out of my mouth the day after my kidneys stopped working. The day after I found out that I had kidney failure and had to get a fistula in […]

Tobias and the Angel—miracle or medical?

Elizabeth Colledge  Jacksonville, Florida, United States   Tobias and the Angel. Workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. between circa 1470 and circa 1475. The National Gallery. Via Wikimedia. Admirers of Andrea del Verrocchio’s painting Tobias and the Angel (circa 1470-1475) may be unaware of the purpose of Tobias’s journey with the archangel Raphael. The Book of […]