Tag Archives: Winter 2010

Emily Dickinson’s mystifying in-sight

Larry Zaroff and Tony Chan Palo Alto, California   In “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—,” Emily Dickinson manifests her mystifying insight into the physiology of the death of vision, going beyond death and living to talk about it (465).1 Remarkably, her poetic vision provides insights into the function of eyesight that parallels what […]

Her name was Krystal

Laura Monahan Rockford, Illinois, United States   Her name was Krystal; she was four years old, and she was tiny—her head barely reaching the top of my knees. She was in the hospital, again, for another surgical procedure. She had undergone twenty-one surgeries since she was born, most related to her defective bowel development, and […]

Simple gestures: a nursing student’s journey through the ICU

Elizabeth Cambier, RN Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago (Winter 2010) For those of us who have chosen to pursue careers in the healthcare field, the lessons we learn in life are what make us true professionals. Like the finishing touches that transform a sketch into a work of art, our lives allow us to read […]

“(W)holistic”: the coining and the connotations

Richard Sobel Negev, Israel   Origin of the term Jan Christian Smuts (1870-1950)—general, statesman, twice Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, and philosopher, published his political treatise, “Holism and Evolution,” in 1926. It is said that Albert Einstein thought Smuts was one of only eleven people in the world who understood his Theory […]

Is it ethical to bring religion into medicine?

Patrick Guinan Chicago,  Illinois, USA   Over 200 years ago Voltaire wrote that one half of metaphysics was known to everybody and that the other half will never be known. It is by no means certain that ethics has yet reached the same high degree of development. At the beginnings of recorded history, the priests […]

The patient on the brink

P. Ravi Shankar Nepal   The St. Xavier’s hospital in the village of Ellakkal is in a magnificent location nestled in the Western Ghats of the Idukki district in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. The Ghats are a series of hills that reach about 2,000 meters high and run parallel to India’s west coast […]

The unconscious eater – The modern glutton

Goutham Rao  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   It is a basic truth, well known to physicians and many others, that the size of one’s body is an accurate reflection of how much one eats. As a physician specializing in caring for overweight and obese children, I know how difficult this is for many to accept. Telling overweight […]

Night upon the Moaning Ward

James Rickert Poet’s statement: This poem was written during the final days of my stem cell transplant for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and just after a fellow patient on the ward had died of complications similar to those from which I was suffering. It and other poems written during that time helped me face the physical suffering […]

Dawn of Mourning

Paul Rousseau Poet’s statement: I am a hospice and palliative medicine physician and see suffering on a daily basis, suffering which is often callous and brutal. In addition, I experienced suffering first hand with the death of my wife 3 years ago from the ugly ravages of scleroderma. I have used writing, particularly essays and […]

Scarred Topography

Anne Herbert Poet’s statement: Writing is my therapy.  It allows me to express difficult feelings that I had growing up but could never put into words until now.  Many of these feelings are centered around the scars left from my cleft lip and palate.  Writing has helped me to stop ignoring these, and other scars, […]