Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Florida

  • Franz Liszt and Lisztomania: “Le concert, c’est moi”

    Elizabeth ColledgeJacksonville, Florida, United States Much has been written about the hysteria accompanying Beatlemania, and before that, the frenzies generated by Elvis, Sinatra, and similar artists, primarily musicians. But before the Beatles, before Elvis, before Frank, there was Franz Liszt, whose 1844 concert in Berlin shocked the musical world and generated the term and medical…

  • 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 GhaiSarasota, Florida, United States 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 my chest. He crushes ice for lemonade to drown the cactus spines in my throat.…

  • Hieroglyphics

    Gail GhaiSarasota, Florida, United States The room shuffles nervously as the oncologist takes the microphone. He’s the first speaker at the breast cancer lecture and he does not hesitate. Opens with a memorable phrase: Cancer comes to the warm parts of the body. I’ve read that ancient Egyptians noted how malignancy loved those cozy corners…

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning—Isolation and the artist

    Elizabeth Lovett Colledge Jacksonville, Florida, United States 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 her life and prolific work in light of the many years of…

  • 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…

  • 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 KazakFlorida, United States  It all started with a scratch on my right ankle during a close encounter with the metal bed leg. It seemed only a surface scratch—a dab of triple antibiotic ointment and a band aid and I would be as good as new. The wound began to heal, and I resumed my…

  • My health care crisis

    Yessenia GutiérrezMiami, Florida, United States “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 my arm for dialysis. I was very afraid because I…

  • Tobias and the Angel—Miracle or medical?

    Elizabeth Colledge Jacksonville, Florida, United States 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 Tobit in the Apocrypha posits a story of love and not-so-miraculous healing in seventh century B.C. Nineveh. Tobit, a devout Hebrew, suffers…