It’s Time for a Tune-Up

May 19, 2015

If I’m to take fashion advice from Maureen Dowd’s March 3 column, “Stroke of Fate,” a take-down of emergency medicine disguised as a recovery narrative of her niece, then I should exchange my white coat for grease-stained overalls.

In her column, a Harvard neurology professor who specializes in stroke describes the brain as the Rolls-Royce of the human body. When it comes to acute stroke care, he is quoted as saying, “would you run your Rolls-Royce into the local gas station?”

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Train Wreck

May 5, 2015

I run down the tracks between metal rails that converge on my goal, a distant pile of wreckage, barely visible. Nothing moves around me. On either side the flat grasslands of North Dakota lie broken only by a lone oil pumpjack, like a huge skeletal bird at the horizon. I am diminished by the sky. Behind me the massive passenger train idles, arrested suddenly on its westward pursuit. I can just make out the shape of a crumpled truck lying half off the track where a country road crosses. “I think it’s bad,” the conductor had said. I expect to find a crushed body in the twisted metal.

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