Tag Archives: ICU

Spirituality in medicine

Gautam Sen Kolkata, India   Doctor-patient bonhomie is beneficial for both. Photo by Thirdman from Pexels. Imagine a hospitalized patient in the advanced stages of a difficult disease. He wonders whether he will survive and, if he does, in what state he will spend the remainder of his life. Alone in bed, he sometimes finds […]

Painting an ICU

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, England, United Kingdom   Claude Monet’s Japanese Bridge and Water Lilies from 1899. Princeton University Art Museum. Wikipedia. “[Monet was] only an eye – yet what an eye.” — Paul Cézanne Much has been written about Claude Monet’s ophthalmic pathology.1-4 However, attributing his stylistic development to cataracts alone seems an overly […]

Goals of care

Leah Grant  Portland, Oregon   Photo by Jake Thacker on Unsplash It was the beginning of my intern year and I felt like an impostor. Facing new responsibilities in both the hospital and clinic, I was aware of my lack of experience when patients asked for my medical opinion. But as I began to see […]

Intubation incarceration: a true tale of torture

Abram Gabriel Piscataway, New Jersey, United States   The Custody of a Prisoner Does Not Call for Torture (La seguridad de un reo no exige tormento). Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes). ca. 1815; published ca. 1859 Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For five days, I could not speak at all. In November 2010, […]

Things to think

Dean Gianakos Lynchburg, Virginia, United States   Detail of: A crossword fanatic ringing up a doctor in the middle of the night to find the answer to a clue. Line block after D.L. Ghilchilp, 1925. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Think in ways you’ve never thought before. If the phone rings, […]

Being our best selves: hidden in full view

James Stoller Peter Rea Alan Kolp Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Figure 1. Pillars and pediment We live in a paradox framed by a tension between age-old wisdom about excellence and our current state. The paradox is this: our behaviors and our priorities are often at odds with age-old truths about how we can be […]

Navigating the waters of post-COVID survivorship

Denise Bockwoldt Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash. On the TV news, COVID survivors are being rolled out of the hospital in wheelchairs, applauded and cheered on by a crowd of hospital staff. “They’ve recovered!” the reporter announces happily. It is a hopeful sign for everyone who fears this virus, […]

Gymnopédie

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, UK   First phrase of Gymnopédie. Erik Satie, 1888. Gymnopédie No. 1. Public domain Oblique et coupant l’ombre un torrent éclatant Ruisselait en flots d’or sur la dalle polie Où les atomes d’ambre au feu se miroitant Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie [English translation]: Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream […]

An act of cowardice

Michael Shen Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Charon carries souls across the river Styx. Alexander Dmitrievich Litovchenko. 1861. Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. In autumn, the leaves turn yellow and die. The cirrhotics in the unit do the same. Their path already charted, their lives like leaves in the wind, we carried them as long as […]

Snakes and ladders

Shampa Sinha Sydney, Australia   Life in the ICU is like a game of Snakes and Ladders. Illustration by Dr. Tirthankar Dutta “Can you tell me where you are, Mr. Pemberton?” I would ask the middle-aged man every morning as he was recovering from abdominal surgery. “Oh, I’m in New York,” he would answer with […]