Happy Mother’s Day. My mother died the day before Mother’s Day sixteen years ago. Each year at this time my memories of Mom revolve around both her life and death. Her last few years weren’t what I would have predicted. When Ernie and I moved from the Midwest to Maryland in 1993, Mom came with … Continue reading My Mother’s Boyfriend
I received my memoir manuscript from my editor this past week. Thankfully, she hadn’t any issues with structure. (I’m not counting the many grammatical errors she found that I thought I had addressed but still missed). Since the last version of my book, I have changed the title, dropped five chapters, deepened some others, and … Continue reading Luther
I’m doing what I said I would never do. Rewrite my book. I completed my manuscript late last year, sent it out to 20 small presses and one agent. While I have been waiting for the results to trickle in—those returned so far have been rejections—I’ve been troubled by a lingering discomfort that I have … Continue reading Rewriting the Book
Last week I reblogged Josephine Ensign’s Radical Hat-Burning Nurses Unite! because I was moved watching the Politics of Caring. The video, released in 1977, showed in Ensign’s words, “how little things have changed.” Nurses then were striking and joining unions in order to have “control over their jobs” and to promote safe and good nursing … Continue reading WHY CAN’T NURSES RUN THE SHOW?
A couple of weeks after our hallway discussion, I spotted them exiting the elevator. Margaret pushed Josie in the wheelchair with one hand while lugging an IV pole with the other, rushing to the back door of the building and out to the parking lot in a obvious effort to avoid me. The bottle that … Continue reading VANISHED Part 3 of 3
When the clinic first opened last year, Margaret would saunter in holding Josie’s hand, pulling her along. While Margaret’s stringy hair and disheveled clothes reflected an indifference to her own appearance, Josie always looked neat. Like a treasured, well cared for doll. Her deeply wrinkled face blank but her blue eyes held a sparkle. She … Continue reading VANISHED Part 2 of 3
A feverish Chicago summer ebbed into autumn. No telltale falling leaves signaled the change of seasons on this block of concrete walkways surrounding the massive twenty-story apartment building. I yanked open the heavy door. Inside the foyer, through the grimy glass doors, I noticed Margaret parking Josie, in her wheelchair, in front of the elevator. … Continue reading VANISHED Part 1 of 3
I attended the book signing this past August. Farther Along, written by my friend and mentor, Carol Henderson, which told the stories of thirteen mothers (she is one of them), a bakers dozen as Carol points out, who had lost children at various ages. I was prepared to cry. I don’t do well with death … Continue reading WHY DO WE WRITE?
Back in the ‘80s I ran a clinic for the elderly that was housed in an apartment on the tenth floor of a Chicago high rise. My patients came to see me, a nurse practitioner, in the office but in many instances I would later check up on them in their apartments in the building … Continue reading CARING AND THE MALE NURSE
Back in the early ‘80s when I ran a not-for-profit clinic on the west side of Chicago for older people before annual physicals were considered “nonspecific” or “inefficient” or “potentially harmful” [“Let’s (Not) Get Physicals” (Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times, June 3, 2012)] I did a complete head to toe exam on each patient who registered, including vaginal … Continue reading DEMISE OF THE PHYSICAL