I’d been thinking about the topic of my next blog when I found myself catapulted back in time to 2008 and an article written by Dr. John Launer in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, which referenced my work as a medical humanist. It was titled, Learning Humanity.
Recently I was asked if I had read “The Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager and Doomed” by Karen Elizabeth Gordon.
I confessed that I often ignore the rules of punctuation.
Who said, “Poetry is language writing itself out of a difficult situation?” I’m not sure. What does come to mind is the poem “Late Fragment” by Raymond Carver, who was a patient at the time.
“Learn the art of fragmented, irrational conversations and follow the patient’s lead instead of trying to control the dialogue.”
– Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s
Denise Grady, New York Times (August 14, 2007)
Recently a colleague e-mailed me the link to Jane Brody’s New York Time’s article Alzheimer’s Patients Keep The Spark Alive by Sharing Stories.
As the year 2017 is coming to a close and a new year is approaching I find myself thinking about what has passed and what’s to come.
Each month I receive an online newsletter from “Cancer.Net”. The newsletter provides approved information to help patients and families make informed healthcare decisions. A recent issue titled “What is Tumor Board?” catapulted me back in time.
A colleague recently forwarded a New York Times article, “The Appointment Ends. Now The Patient is Listening.” The author Paula Span notes new efforts to help patients understand their health status by recording appointments.
The title of one of my previous blogs in and of itself posed an important question: “What Is A Good Patient?” How one defines a “good patient” varies, as does their reason for wanting to be one. During my tenure as a Medical Humanist at Southwestern Vermont’s Regional Cancer Center I witnessed the difficult task doctors faced in reconciling those who became patients—to their illness.
“We need to raise our voices a little more, even as they say to us,
‘This is so uncharacteristic of you.’ Invisibility is not a natural state for anyone.”
After each of our SpeakSooner community education programs I would ask myself, “How did this program differ from the one before? And, what was the take away?” I often wonder if others ask themselves the same questions.
What brought this to mind was an e-mail I received from a hospice social worker who often attends our community programs.
I don’t know who it was that said poetry is defined as a language writing itself out of a difficult situation. What I know is illness is one of those situations.