Sunday, 27 October 2013
one of the things i'm always battering on about to the folk at work is to remember that there's a person going on behind all the shenanigans at work. they don't always respond well, in part because a lot of the people i deal with are such car wrecks that compassion seems to stop at the door. what they don't see is the what i do with them, with relatives etc in the aftermath.
i'm always looking for wee reminders for them, something to try and lift them out of the clinical environment and see things from the patient perspective (this is tricky because the one thing that's in ever shorter supply clinically is time). so i was really taken with angelo merendino's photographs of his wife jennifer's journey with cancer.
so much is recognisable but there's so much else that we, in hospital, never see let alone get the time to sit back and take time to look at. true, i'm never going to be a fan of language like 'battle' and 'fight' but there's a veracity in these images that makes me stop and pause.
last year when t was in hospital this was what it felt like - to see her dressed up like one of the people i look after, not to be clinical any more but to be a 'relative' (the confusion that blurring of boundaries caused!), to listen as t fashioned her own narrative in an environment that had only existed for her in stories.
there's many, many blogs around that chronicle people's experience with disease. these, it seems to mean, are an under utilised resource for clinicians and the wider public. far from the cloying realm of 'help' books these tend to show the day today lived experience of disease either form the perspective of the sufferer or those round about them. not the easiest read or easy to look at but a means to treasuring the days...
*the blog associated with the above is worth checking out. also the charity associated with sales from the book sounds like a fine idea.