HAWMC Day 12 - Hi, Art. (Or High Art.)

HAWMC Day 12

If you’re just joining us, I’m participating in a 30 day challenge to get better abs write about my health activism.

This is today’s prompt: What have you learned about being a patient that has surprised you most?


Art FrameThe treatment of the human body is an art, not a science. 

Doctors and medical teams don’t know everything. Neither do we.

Sometimes they misdiagnose. Sometimes we don’t tell them a symptom or a trend that would have prevented the misdiagnosis. Patients can camouflage the real reasons they need assistance or blatantly lie (as in the case of fudging blood sugar logs before the days of memory in monitors…and even today, you can just “forget” to bring the right meter. I’ve done it. I admit it. Why even show up to the appointment, right? I agree.).

It’s an art, the field of medicine. If it was an exact science, they’d never get it wrong. Neither would we.

(I’m not defending those who practice gross malpractice. The ones who overpack waiting rooms because they have to meet quota to achieve their financial objectives or pay for their boat. They  have no business being diagnosticians or having medical licenses.)

I’m talking about those who listen to you. Hear what you’re saying. Hear what you’re NOT saying. Those who take the time to review your lab work, but want to know how you’re really feeling.

These are the true artists. They see the subtle patterns others do not. They look at the whole picture. These are the medical crews who smooth the jagged lines in the graphs of our continuous glucose monitors. Paint over the few high blood sugar days in favor of the good days to get the shadowing right to create a lasting masterpiece. Mold you into a better person.

The subject is the same. It’s me. And you.

It’s all in how the doctors choose to practice their art.

Some doctors are “paint by numbers” and stick figures.

Others follow in Mondrian’s and Reuben’s and Stella’s*  and John Singer Sargent’s** footsteps.

I prefer the masters.


*Do you know who Joseph Stella is? Here is his bio.

Here is his painting called Bridge.

And Coney Island.

And Purissima where I first got see to see his work up close (I touched it. Sorry, High Museum.)

*John Singer Sargent was the first painter who made me weep. I sat in the Tate in London for a long time staring at this painting. I have no idea why it moved me so much. Still does. The Internet fails to do it justice. Put it on your list of “things I must see in person before I die”…

One comment

  1. Scott K. Johnson

    Great post, Christel. And there’s a large part in there about how willing we, as patients, are to be molded and shaped. I learned long ago that there is much I don’t know, and that I need to at least be open minded about exploring suggested ideas.

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