Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: illness narrative

  • Seeking medicalization: chronic illness without diagnosed disease

    Camille Kroll Chicago, Illinois, United States   Surgical scars and the expansion of narrative possibilities. By Camille Kroll. I was wheeled into the bright lights of the operating room with the symptom-based diagnoses of chronic pelvic pain and irritable bowel syndrome. When I groggily emerged several hours later, I had a new label: someone with…

  • The use of language in health and illness narratives

    Mariella ScerriVictor Grech Malta While I was as busy as anyoneon the sunny plain of life, I heardof you laid aside in the shadowyrecess where our sunshine ofhope and joy could neverpenetrate to you.– Harriet Martineau1 Literary works can illustrate the loneliness and social isolation experienced by people when they are sick.2 The chasm between health…

  • The sight of blood

    Joanne JacobsonNew York, New York, United States None of us live to adulthood without seeing our own blood—growing up, I witnessed my blood flow free of my body too many times to count. The bleeding knee picked clean of leaves and gravel after my father sent me spinning down the driveway on my birthday bike;…

  • “Moonlight” and silence

    Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Woman at the Piano. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1875/76. Art Institute of Chicago. At seventeen, I knew little about the limitations or losses that might cause a person to second-guess a vocation, deeply held belief, or identity. Perhaps those questions about the unknowable future inhabit the soul of a…

  • The healing art of listening

    Charles Paccione Oslo, Norway   Goldsworthy, Andy. Born 1956. Watercolour. Great Britain in 1991-1992. In storage, museum no.: E. 705-1993 Throughout my years of working with patients, both as a therapist and as a clinical researcher, I have been consistently reminded of the important role storytelling plays in fortifying a healing bond between patient and caregiver. Listening…