I got a creative writing fellowship at Harvard to compose Fertile Mind, a book documenting a year in which I made the Baby Decision.
Three days after the receipt of this letter, I suffered a euphoria-induced-insomnia-induced seizure.
My MRI showed that I had a mass on my left parietal lobe, I had an awake craniotomy on 7/2/99.
The surgery temporarily wiped out my speech, reading, and writing. I had to tell Harvard I was no longer the same person who'd applied.
Behavioral observation: Ms. Becker presented as a somewhat anxious woman who was noticeably concerned about the difficulties she was facing.
She was motivated to perform well and cooperated with the evaluation.
She was teary at times, especially when she perceived she was having difficulties.
She tended to want to respond to questions quickly.
I was unable to consider having a baby as long as I was on anti-seizure medicine, aka the Foreseeable Future.
Sometime in January 2000, six months after my tumor resection, I decided to start a chapter about the brain surgery which would become part of Fertile Mind.
Several hundred pages later, I realized I had a book: I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?
narrative a story
medicine the science of diagnosing, treating, or preventing disease and other damage to the body or mind
graphic relating to visual art
comic of or pertaining to comic strips, sequence of panel cartoons
cartoon a drawing depicting a situation, often accompanied by text
In 2001, Dr. Rita Charon (Columbia University Medical School) coins the term "narrative medicine": life narratives of caregiving, health, and illness. Dr. Charon continues to research and share the social, emotional, and physical healing benefits of the genre.
Raises empathy and compassion Improves communication/documentation Assists treatment Reduces stress (unburdening, catharsis) Reduces loneliness Reduces fear and stigma Consolidates medical education Improves autoimmune function Promotes post-trauma growth Fosters agency and temporal control Fosters laughter
Physicians Nurses Social workers Mental health professionals Chaplains Academics Patients Caregivers Students Friends, family, you, me
r. Charon and her term were unbeknownst to me until 2013 when I was invited to be on a "Narrative Medicine" panel at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference
At the conclusion of the panel, someone from...