Author: David C

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Ashes to Ashes

This Monday our family went to the funeral of Uncle Ron, whom I barely knew. An uncle twice removed, we had met perhaps four times in life: his daughter’s wedding, my wedding, and two family reunions. Our conversations were brief but good. The first one was him telling me how...

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Dead Bodies and Lamentations

What do you do with a dead body in the room? My first dead patient arrived that way.  He was half naked, pupils blown, head bashed in from a car accident in which he was thrown through the windshield.  It was my first week on the wards as a medical student...

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Scum of the World

I could hear the cussing from inside the room and noted the awkward glances of nearby nurses and staff who turned to look and gawk.  Even though I only sat a few feet outside the door, I ignored the increasingly loud litany of expletives and deliberately focused on the screen in front of me.  He was my...

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Trauma: What Freud Learned About Rape

In medical school we glossed over Freud because psychoanalysis had largely become outdated.  Popular culture has turned his method into a mockery; we chuckle to think of the bearded psychiatrist listening intently to some dude reclining on a sofa talking at length about the hidden sexual meaning underlying his bedwetting dreams.  In the new era of...

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Segregation

It has been about a year since we moved out of the “inner city.”  It’s an experience we are still processing with many mixed feelings, among them relief, disappointment, and shame.  It is a relief to be able to walk around the block without fear of hearing gunshots, to sleep at night with...

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Anniversary of Theft

My wife reminded me that it has now been one year since we were last broken into.  She was partly reminded of this because our car was broken into last week, an incident in which only a cheap phone charger and several quarters were taken.  This occurred despite having moved to a “nicer” area...