Tag Archives: heart

Heart failure

Charles Halsted  Davis California, United States   By the time I completed my third medical school year, I had learned the basics of physiology and biochemistry, but had never been face-to-face with a person who depended upon my skills to survive. I had never heard a racing heart nor the sounds of gurgling lungs. I […]

Notes on a first abortion

Henry Bair  Stanford, California, United States   Mother and Child by the Sea. Johan Christian Dahl. 1830. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. The first time I saw a late-term abortion by dilation and evacuation, I was surprised that it was a fairly minor procedure. I was to observe the termination at twenty-three weeks of […]

Ode to my stethoscope

Hilton Koppe Lennox Head, Australia   Poet’s note My Littman stethoscope has accompanied me on my journey in medicine across five decades into premature medical retirement. It was definitely more difficult to lay down my stethoscope than it had been for me to recommend medical retirement to many of my patients. This poem includes a […]

Sidelined

Katherine C. White Rockville, Maryland, United States   David Adam Kess / CC BY-SA. Source From the safety of my home, I watch the unfolding of the slow-motion car wreck that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Retired from the practice of neonatal medicine for over eight years, my medical license has been inactive for half that […]

Ignes Fatui of the neurotic mind

Ashten R. Duncan Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States   Rocking in my vessel sturdy Upon the waters of a swamp so dirty, I am in the crow’s nest En route to my impending test. Ever since I was young, I have been given to the far-flung: Quiet panic of a possible foe, Wishes to never disturb […]

Blessed is the heart

Jeanne Bryner Newton Falls, Ohio, United States   Study of standing chute. Dominik Skutecký. 1880-1900. Slovak National Gallery. Image Source Peacemaker inside the great barn father of us all, he passes the meat plate, its thick roast to the left his fork last in line. Bless his bulbous nose, ruddy face and bloodshot eyes, his slur […]

La Couronne

Sophia Wilson New Zealand   Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. NIAID. CC BY 2.0  Virions, under an electron microscope, resemble a crown. An artist’s soft hued roses and golds, belie the sinister underbelly, the forked tongue. Everything suddenly looks a whole lot different; Today an elderly woman inclined over walking frame, inches down supermarket aisles in search of weekly […]

In the heart of Damascus

Kera Panni Seaside, California, United States   Propaganda in support of President Bashar al-Assad between the Citadel of Damascus and the entrance to the suq, (May 2007). Personal archives, photo taken by author Even as a child in the American suburbs, I knew my blood flowed from Syria. Relatives said my Jiddoo’s parents were farmers […]

Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called warm-blooded. […]

Blood is NOT the essence of life?

Mair Zamir London, Ontario, Canada   Figure 1: Vasculature of the human heart in an anterior view (right) and posterior view (left). This massive vascular network brings blood to within reach of every cell within the heart tissue. It is the most densely packed vascular network within the body because of the very high metabolic […]