CONTENTS

 

Editorial
  Helen Ker —Read here

Hypochondria
  Elizabeth Morton —Read here

Taking your son to the detox clinic
  Frankie McMillan —Read here

Treatments
  Elizabeth Morton —Read here

The professor of anatomy introduces Mac
Francis it’s time we talked about the double helix
  Kerrin P. Sharpe —Read here

Gristle
  Elizabeth Morton —Read here

Vital signs
A neurosurgeon collaborates with his dreams
  Kerrin P. Sharpe —Read here

A literary exploration of the grief associated with medical illness
  Hannah Coombridge —Read here

Tangihanga
Nervosa
  Sarah Maindonald —Read here

Her brain
  Hannah Coombridge —Read here

Not standing upright there
  Paul Stanley Ward

The body talks
  William Sherborne —Read here

Inheritance
  Johanna Emeney —Read here

Friend bequest (from a modern cad)
  Emily Adam —Read here

Taking transgender healthcare seriously
  Alex Ker —Read here

Wheel of Fortune
  Greg Judkins —Read here

Simple first aid
  Hannah Coombridge —Read here

RSI
  Amber Read —Read here

Giving sorrow words: the cathartic power of writing
  Sandra Arnold

Medical miracles
  Johanna Emeney —Read here

Dissection
  Angela Andrews —Read here

So what was chemo like?
  Heather Cameron —Read here

Public health campaign
  Erik Kennedy —Read here

Sanatorium
  Wes Lee —Read here

ONLINE ONLY

The avlusion of her heart
  Celia Coyne —Read here

THE AVULSION OF HER HEART
Celia Coyne

It began with the nick of a small remark. ‘What would you know about a career?’ He said it over the beef bourguignon that she had prepared, and kept warm for an hour while she waited.
Pain is a tool for survival. It’s the body telling you it hurts. It’s the body telling you to do something.

On her first day of training, Susan learns that wounds can be open or closed; clean or contaminated.
‘Rather like people,’ she smiles. But the teacher doesn’t look up.
Being a wound-care nurse is far from glamorous, but it’s worthwhile and practical.
There are some wounds that never heal.
Wounds can become chronic, failing to proceed through an orderly and timely reparative process.
They get stuck. Such wounds will never get better without intervention.


Susan has no trouble memorising the text. Twenty years and two kids ago she was an A-grade student. It all comes back, the learning.
A puncture is a small hole caused by a long, pointy object such as a nail, needle or ice pick.
An insult is a bodily injury, irritation or trauma.
Avulsion is the partial or complete tearing away of skin and tissue.

She’s not squeamish either. Blood, suppuration and necrosis don’t bother her at all.
And when she is presented with a fungating wound, and the stench of death itself, she finds she can focus on the person, not the smell. It’s a good fit.

And everything she learns is a recovery. It wasn’t going to happen on its own. Like chronic wounds – you have to be patient. You have to be persistent.
She remembers the phone call. The lips that once murmured promises spitting dagger words. ‘I never loved you.’
She can still feel the ripping in her chest .
Debridement is the removal of dead matter from a wound so that the tissues can mend.
Regular observation, cleanliness and tenacity give the best chance of repair
.  

More of Celia's writing can be found here