Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Medicine"

The Bicycle Factory

In 1966, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu issued Decree 770, criminalizing abortion. After that, women found their own ways to end unwanted pregnancies, no matter the risk. With money and contacts, one could arrange curettage—then the procedure would be performed without anesthesia in a garage or on a kitchen table. On rare occasions, a gynecologist would assist. Most women learned to terminate a pregnancy on their own. A catheter was introduced into the uterus. Through it,...

The Bather

For more than ten years, Olga had been bathing people in their homes. She didn’t earn a fortune, but she lived comfortably.  Her taxes were paid and her refrigerator was full. She even had enough for a movie once or twice a week, and every summer she could afford to take a two-week vacation to visit her sister in Entre Ríos.  Most important of all: she didn’t have to worry about the competition. Nobody else wanted to get involved in the home-bathing business....

Of Fists and Rubs

There was quite a crush of people at the polling station, as if it was the premier of some movie. A long line stretched out to infinity. Five years ago, too, we’d formed such endless lines, as if we’d come to buy cheap grain, not cast a vote. Wisps of hope flitted across our faces: regardless of how long the lines, our turn was bound to come sometime. And then you just watch, we’ll be raking in piles and piles of money. He’s our trusted man; the reins of good...

Honesty

The nurse walks into Room 93 pushing a cart carrying a tray with a glass of water, a jar of capsules, a thermometer, and a file folder rest. She says "Good evening" and approaches the patient's bed. He lies there with his eyes closed. She looks at him with no particular interest, consults the clipboard at the foot of the bed where the instructions are written, takes a capsule out of the jar she brought in on the cart and, as she picks up the glass of water, says: "Mr. Rdz, it's...

Blizzard in the Jungle, Part Two

Image description

North Korean intrigue in the African jungle.

Listen, everyone, the plane was sabotaged.


The Pig

Asbjørn Hall was admitted to an Oslo hospital on December 4th, 2003, for an intestinal operation, a rather unpleasant business no one would look forward to. But Asbjørn Hall was seventy-eight and had never been ill before, barring minor complaints such as colds, toothache, and the occasional hangover. For that reason he realized now this was no more than to be expected; that's not saying he saw this as some punishment for a long and godless life—no, Asbjørn...

The Shakes

Now I have to get the fourth glass down me before I can operate. I mean, the fourth glass, filled to the brim, full of the amber stuff. Yes, now I drink the amber, Scotch. Because of my liver, you know. Why should I try to kid you, we go back a long way, and just between you and me, you're my best friend, you rallied to the cause, you're a great colleague. I went for some liver function tests, and things aren't looking too bright. Anyway, since they let me back into the Health...

Joan

He just loved that little gizmo. Actually, he didn't like it much at first, because he was hot all over and was running a temperature, while that thing was cool, and he shuddered when it got pressed against him. He turned away and made a face. His head was all wet. But he didn't complain, because by then it was already hard for him to cry. He could only groan hoarsely and shut his eyes. But then he began to reach for it, anyway. Because it was shiny. "You want me to listen to...

from As You Were Saying

The collection As You Were Saying: American Writers Respond to Their French Counterparts presents stories begun by French writers and then responded to by their American opposite numbers. Here Marie Darrieussecq starts and Rick Moody picks up where she leaves off. Marie Darrieussecq's Beginning The tracheotomy left him hoarse for a long time but in the end he got his normal voice back. And his shoulders were still the same. Sometimes when we were reading together in bed, I'd...

Ambulance

I'm lying on my back in the ambulance, firmly strapped to the stretcher and we're driving very fast through town, somebody's placed an oxygen mask over my mouth, and the man sitting next to me in a red and yellow jacket, who goes constantly from watching me to watching his bleeping instruments, asks me if I can hear him, but doesn't wait for an answer, and he flicks various switches, attaches things to my body, to my chest, he yells out to the ambulance driver, "Faster,...

Dragonfly

for Dr. Carvalho if from these stones one announced what creates silence: here, close by, [ . . . ] this would open, like a wound you would have to plunge into --Paul Celan, "The Power of Light" A fluid sound ran through the house, brushed against the dust on the garden vines, swayed the mangoes and the papayas as they ripened, terrified a drunken dragonfly that was dozing there, made the sun diminish, and settled still strong, still distinct, at the woman's ear. Followed by a...

Käte Frankenthal, an Activist Physician

Image description


from “White Masks”

Chapter IV: The Dog -1- There's the clatter of the ancient truck lumbering through the hazy Beirut morning, the sea, and the mingled smell of salt and fish. Sky, gray clouds and waves. Engine clacking, its wheels pitching the ruts, the truck rumbles along. Zayn Alloul is sitting next to the driver up front. Mohammad al-Kharoobi and Saleh Ahmad are suspended on two small fenders at the back-end of the vehicle. The aroma of Virginia blend tobacco suffuses the front cabin: the...

from Alive in the Mortuary

The setting is inside the mortuary of a hospital in an African country at war, Angola. Two corpses are covered by white sheets. In the original play, the text in italics is spoken in English, and otherwise the text is spoken in Cantonese. Scene One [The curtain opens, pitch black darkness, the sound of banging on doors.] Dr. Li: Damn! Damn! Damn! [banging on the doors] Open the door! Sam! Sam! Are you guys there? Open the door! Shit --- [Lights up, an exhausted old doctor, a...

Bakarak

It was Bakarak himself who fired me. Bakarak, the Swiss doctor who directs the dietetics institute named after him. I'm standing here in the middle of the street and my thoughts climb up to the third floor, penetrate the window, and reach Bakarak's office, where at this moment-I'm certain of it-he sits before his computer terminal surfing through porno websites. Can one be an orderly with eighteen years' experience and develop a theory of diet? It wouldn't seem so,...

Memories of Lily-Colored Photographs

The affable young clerk laid out the photographs on the glass case backlit by a small fluorescent bulb. Their reddish tint, a bit like the color of the lilies that grew everywhere in the summer, suggested discoloration. Though taken with color film, the pictures were monochromatic, as if they were black and white photographs processed with red toner. "The film's destroyed. It's been too long since you took these pictures. You didn't store it properly, either. You really...

Appendix

My father used to be a surgeon. He was strong and healthy, and talked in a resonant voice. He would often stand at the operating table for ten hours at a time, but at the end of his shift his face would not show the slightest signs of fatigue, and as he walked back to our apartment his steps were loud and firm. Nearing home, he would often take a pee by the corner of the wall. His urine would splash noisily on the wall, like a sudden downpour of rain. When my father was twenty-five...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.