Life in the Box: Sickness and Health
The staff at my office usually numbered about 100. I have some smallish circles of friends collected over my 30 years in Des Moines. But, I’m not someone with thousands of acquaintances.
I say that as a preamble to a list of a wide range of health issues that people I know have experienced:
|AIDS (some lived, some died)|
|allergies (extreme enough to keep them home)|
|brain tumors (some removed)|
|Cancer (all kinds)|
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome|
|COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)|
|death just after birth|
|Diabetes (Types 1 & 2)|
|heart attacks (some lived some died)|
|heart bypass surgery|
|heart valve replacement|
|liver disease (deaths)|
|lungs regrown by own stem cells|
|premature birth (some lived, some died)|
|Rheumatoid Arthritis (extreme)|
|Schizophrenia (some lived, some died)|
|shoulder rotator cuff surgery|
|Skin cancer (melanoma)|
Okay, that’s about 60 different reasons that people I know have sought medical attention.
What does that tell us about the modern human experience?
–We still get sick.
–We can identify many conditions.
–Modern medicine has amazing cures.
–Modern medicine can’t cure everything.
–Over a lifetime, most of us will know a lot about illness just by listening to friends.
–If we don’t have a dread disease, we must wonder when, not if we will. And, which one?
I am amazed by the human body—so frail and easily demolished; so strong and ready to defend itself; so astonishing that it can come back from near death.
Nancy Heather Brown is an Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she uses gems from this treasure trove of life stories to add sparkle to her reflections on the creative process both inside and outside the box.