Category Archives: Chronic illness

“The Defiant Muse” by Rafael Campo

How one man poured himself into poetry to prevent “the stealing of [his] personhood” by Parkinson’s. From Harvard Medicine’s 2003 bulletin, The Neurobiology of the Arts. I sat dumbfounded as he went on to recite about a hundred lines of … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, Chronic illness

Pillaging, plundering and public health

In response to requests by leprosy advocacy groups, Aardman Animations, the studio behind upcoming film The Pirates!, is removing a scene which shows a character losing an arm on a “leper boat.” “After reviewing the matter, we decided to change … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Film, Public health

How Doctors Die

With the Baby Boomers now entering senior citizenhood, almost all future doctors will be, to some extent, geriatricians. It’s no wonder that discussions of end-of-life and advance care planning now figure heavily into medical education and policy discussion. Today, patients … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Policy

Heard on the Floors #4 – Uganda

In commemoration of the upcoming World AIDS Day on Thursday, December 1, we’ll be thinking about HIV/AIDS this week. Below, a reflection from Uganda written by Nelson Chiu, a fourth year at NJMS. Ward 4A is the Infectious Diseases in-patient … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Heard on the Floors

The Art of Alzheimer’s

Physicians are not trained to interpret paintings, and most patients do not have a lifetime of artwork to analyze. However, a rare opportunity for both to occur is at the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “de Kooning: A Retrospective.” Willem … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, Chronic illness

Living with a death sentence

Emily Rapp, a professor of creative writing at Santa Fe University, writes about how a parent deals with the knowledge that their child is dying of an incurable disease. She speaks of the need to parent in the moment, as … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Love, Uncategorized

Rebuilding the brain

Jane Rosett, former activist and current artist, discusses her slow recovery from traumatic brain injury. I am often amazed to find that people recognize me when I have no recollection of them. People who love me grieve what they claim … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Neuroscience

Down, but not Out

Remember watching Lorenzo’s Oil in 5th grade? Well Lorenzo’s father (who discovered a treatment for his son’s degenerative condition), it turns out, has a kindred spirit. Enter, Alberto Costa. When Costa’s daughter Tyche was born with Down Syndrome, he launched himself … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Ethics, Love, Neuroscience, Research

Comics & Medicine: Part 1

There’s been an avalanche of comics and medicine news recently, and like any true medical specialty, now there’s a conference! The second annual Comics and Medicine conference was held June 9-11, entitled The Sequential Art of Illness, at Northwestern University. … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, Cancer, Chronic illness, Comics, Literature, Storytelling

Lonely Hearts Club

Below, a poignant perspective in this week’s NEJM, entitled “The Loneliness of Visiting.” “Take my hand,” I urge. Sometimes I imagine a weak squeeze in return, but other times his hand falls limply to the side. The effort of turning in … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Humanism, Love