Speaking my truth (and a whole lot of fact)

In May, I was invited to speak at the P.A's clinical ethics forum for National Palliative Care week. This year's theme was 'Living Well with Chronic Illness', and before the forum, I met with three lovely ladies to mull over what I might like to discuss in my talk (sex? It was a unanimous YES). … Continue reading Speaking my truth (and a whole lot of fact)

Happy Birthday, M

For M.E.B We became another death (the fulfilment of my internship). Like a false syncope, my grief would not let me claim you. You came to me with bleeding gums and a dent in your jaw, your broken gait like a barber cutting through walls of plasticine with blunt scissors. Bruised pride; your face a field of … Continue reading Happy Birthday, M

Being woken at the gates of heaven

Candy in a bag - recollections of a need when my mind was an unswept room, my body a husk, full of holes so thick I thought I would leak. Needles in my bedside drawer, ampoules ready to be snapped off at the yellow line - that crisp and thrilling pop. No greater satisfaction, nor ever surpassed. … Continue reading Being woken at the gates of heaven

Ineka

I have posted this before, but because it's 26 years today since my beautiful friend Ineka died, I thought I'd do a re-post. She deserves it. I was 10 when Ineka died and my life changed forever. There's so much to write about Ineka, but here's just one story. * I have always been captivated … Continue reading Ineka

Another angel at my table

I am, right now, stuck in that stinking, mephitic mire that is grief. It is as though I am cemented to the one place. Just about everything hurts, and just about everything makes me cry. Some photographs arrived in my inbox around lunchtime, and that mallet of sorrow swung a blow so hard that I lost … Continue reading Another angel at my table

Red of hair, fair of heart, strong of spirit

I can't tell you exactly what happened Thursday night. But I can tell you that I saw a friend take her last breath. A friend who is supposed to turn twenty-one in twelve days. I will write about everything, but I won't be sharing it, because turning off your loved ones life support is one … Continue reading Red of hair, fair of heart, strong of spirit

The night I lived again: part one

I'm finding it hard to concentrate on my study today. It's that time of year. It's Transplanniversary* time. The 22nd will mark fifteen years since I was (at least this is how it felt) thrown back into life after being ripped from that tenuous march to death. Below is a photo me on my 21st … Continue reading The night I lived again: part one

The dream starts here

I have a passion for life and death, and death and dying - specifically, palliative care, oft times referred to as 'end of life' care. For many years I've wanted to be a palliative care worker, and in 2010 I began my 'Karuna Journey'. As I walked through the doors of Karuna, I could feel … Continue reading The dream starts here

Surgery: an unwanted birthday gift

This morning has seen me back in hospital with a raging infection and a build up of lymphatic fluid that is stubbornly refusing to drain. A week before Christmas, I had surgery for a femoral hernia - what's called a femoral hernia 'repair', but not everything went to plan. This week saw me returning to … Continue reading Surgery: an unwanted birthday gift