My Body’s Story

Prior to entering a new patient’s room, I review words and numbers in a chart in order to gather as much information as possible. Reading a patient’s chief complaint, I learn about the nature of his or her visit whereas her past medical history gives information that begins to tell a story about what her…

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Staying Alive

Did you know that statistically one in five children in the United States experience a mental illness? One out of five. Think about that for just a moment. It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Mental health continues to be a subject that most of us know very little about. Unless we are personally acquainted with…

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I Am the Woman Who…

Swallowing the last sip of a stiff drink, I dragged my body off the couch. Walking toward my bedroom, I stopped in the hallway to notice the open door on the left. Looking into the darkness of the room rendered me breathless for a moment, and I slowly turned to avoid the sight. While brushing…

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Wild Flower

My son was four years old the first time he had an opinion about his hair. His thick blond hair bounced up and down as he ran, and it brought me absolute delight. When he asked to shave it off, my heart sank. I allowed myself to explore the unusually strong feelings I was experiencing,…

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Dis-Order

Nearly seven years ago, I lay alone in a hospital bed, cuddling my newborn son on my chest. Although my husband and mother had been present for his birth, complications and illness prevented them from being at the hospital for the first full day of his life. Since we had moved only six months prior…

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Wishes

A recent conversation with my six-year-old son, who still believes in Santa despite peers and an older brother’s influence: “Mom, why do grown-ups not make very good wishes?” “What do you mean, buddy?” “Well, it’s just that most of the time, grown-ups wish for books or boring collector things instead of anything fun for Christmas.”…

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Bethany’s Thanksgiving Playlist 2018

Two boys banter back and forth at the breakfast bar, laughing. I lift my eyes from making lunches for a moment to realize how much they are enjoying one another. My oldest looks up at me with a genuine smile, “Mom, I’m so glad he’s here.” Slightly confused, I ask who he is referencing. “My…

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Something Always Shifts

Shards of glass rage against my vocal folds as I slowly swallow to lessen the pain. Lymph nodes appear to be working overtime as swelling and tenderness make me want to wrap a warm compress around my neck. I awoke days ago to a raw, scratchy feeling in the back of my throat. Sickness has…

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Right On Time

Months after our wedding, I received an anonymous envelope with a newspaper clipping from the Miss Manners column titled, “Thank-you notes way, way overdue.” While reading the words on the page, my eyes skipped to the underlined portion which read, “They would like to know that you received what they sent you, and that they…

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Only Crazy People Do This

My son stood in the kitchen, yelling at me, “I just want to eat DAIRY!” His rage was unannounced, and I quickly attempted to figure out what he meant. As I asked clarifying questions, he only seemed to become more agitated until he finally broke down and started crying. While quietly comforting him, I understood…

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