Narrative Medicine Monday: Things My Daughter Lost In Hospitals

Toni L. Wilkes reveals her daughter’s illness journey through her poem “Things My Daugther Lost In Hospitals” in the journal The Healing Muse. I’m struck by how she alternates between the physical, tangible losses (“a pear-shaped gallbladder”) and the more unexpected costs (“her husband’s patience”). As a reader, I almost miss the surprising and heart wrenching losses, placed innocuously among the more conventional ones. I’m compelled to return to each line and deconstruct the poem, in search of these melancholy nuggets that reveal the true toll.

Writing Prompt: List all of the things you’ve lost or gained by being a medical provider. Alternatively, list all of the things you’ve lost or gained through an illness. Consider the concrete (i.e. money) and the more intangible (i.e. time). Write for 10 minutes. 

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