Tag Archives: shortness of breath

Dream on

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   Footsteps in the forest. Photo by Nicholas D. on Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0. Chart This is a 32-year-old female with widely metastatic breast cancer admitted to the hospital for control of shortness of breath and pain. ____ Melissa sits slumped, mouth open, snoring. I pull a chair […]

Scotland’s Anthrax Island

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Cutaneous anthrax lesion on the neck, May 25, 1953. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. “They make a desolation and call it peace.” — Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001)   During World War Two, the British government purchased from its owners the Gruinard […]

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 […]

Memories of a West Virginia coal camp

Calvin Kunin Columbus, Ohio, United States   Coal town, Eastern Kentucky. Photo by Don Sniegowski. March 21, 2018. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 This is a brief account of my experience as a physician at a coal mining camp in rural West Virginia. It is based on my memory of events that took place almost […]

Remembering Sir Thomas Lewis’ contribution to understanding heart failure

Daniel Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Figure 1: British Medical Journal, 1930 a Sir Thomas Lewis (1881-1945) has been called one of the “fathers of modern cardiology” due to his many significant contributions to that discipline. In 1930 he wrote a landmark paper clarifying the disease “congestive (heart) failure,” revealing clues that are present […]

The talk

Akshay Khatri Valhalla, New York, United States   Photo from Pixabay I walked into the emergency department with a sense of trepidation. The patient I was evaluating was Mrs. G, a woman whom I had cared for in the hospital a few months earlier. Now she was back from the nursing home with more shortness […]

The last days of George Washington

Life of George Washington – the Christian death, ca. 1853 Junius Brutus Stearns Library of Congress When George Washington developed laryngitis and shortness of breath in 1799, his doctors used poultices, enemas, and opened his veins to remove almost half of all his blood in 12 hours. Shown on his deathbed in a painting recently […]

Let us all be well

Michael Konik Los Angeles, California, USA   “We need a new heart at the heart of the system, one that is not cold and congested, a heart that is open and compassionate.” Diseases work insidiously, hiding out in hard-to-see places. A badly compromised body often looks normal on the outside, especially if the illness is […]