On Lifespan, you’ll hear stories about encounters with the health care system. Each show contains stories bound by a common theme – a person’s personal journey through a particular type of medical trauma. The stories are deeply personal. Some stories reflect a person’s response to treatment and other stories simply reflect on the aftermath of an illness. Even when multiple people are describing their experiences with the same disease, condition or treatment, each account is unique. If the subject of this podcast interests you, please subscribe to Lifespan wherever you access your podcasts. You can also listen to Lifespan at WOUB.org/listen.
“‘Breast cancer awareness’ is a national catchphrase. There is less recognition, however, of testicular cancer, even though the average age for onset is 33, far younger than for breast cancer. At 33, few men worry about cancer and so they tend to ignore any signs of the illness. In this episode of Lifespan, Dan Skinner, a professor of health policy, and the producer and host of the podcast, Prognosis Ohio, describes his experience with testicular cancer and reflects on the culture that avoids recognition and discussion of the illness.
You can listen to Prognosis Ohio, Dan’s podcast about health and healthcare in Ohio, at https://www.prognosisohio.com.
Faiza Aziz is a medical student. Before enrolling in medical school in 2020, given her public health and medical knowledge, her fluency in several languages, and her familiarity with several cultures, she trained and worked as a medical interpreter. In this episode of Lifespan, Faiza describes the vital role played by medical interpreters in the healthcare system, how interpreters help to assure quality care for vulnerable patients, and the potential dangers to patients when physicians and hospitals fail to use professionally trained interpreters.
Bob Simpson and Estelle Carol have been together for almost 50 years. They have two grown children. Before retirement, Bob was a high school history teacher. Estelle is still working as a graphic designer. For decades, they also combined their talents to produce syndicated political cartoons under the byline Carol Simpson. Then, in 2016, Bob had a stroke. In this episode of Lifespan, Bob and Estelle share their story. n
“Choosing Down Syndrome”
Chris Kaposy and Jan Beattie have three children: Elizabeth, 14, Aaron, 11, and Ty, 7. With each pregnancy, Jan and Chris decided in advance to refuse prenatal testing. But when Jan was pregnant with Aaron, her first ultrasound at 19 weeks showed some markers for Down syndrome and she and Chris had to revisit their original decision about prenatal testing.
Chris is a biomedical ethicist and Jan is a nurse, so they brought unique forms of medical knowledge to the series of questions they had to ask and answer quickly. Since Aaron’s birth, Chris has written the book, Choosing Down Syndrome: Ethics and New Prenatal Testing Technologies.
In this episode of Lifespan, Jan and Chris talk about their family, disability, and society.
For a link to Chris’ book, visit: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/choosing-down-syndrome
“Depression in the First Person”
Anna Mehler Paperny is a Canadian journalist who has worked for Reuters, The Globe and Mail, and Global News. She’s won awards for her investigative journalism. And she’s struggled with major clinical depression for most of her adult life, attempting suicide several times.
On this episode of Lifespan, Anna talks about her experience of mental illness, the stigma of mental illness, and the history of the treatment of mental illness.
Anna’s courageous, compelling, informative book, Hello I want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person, was recently released in the United States by The Experiment. Read a review of Anna’s book here :
“Grievous Loss: Death of a Spouse”
Steve Bild, Renee Pollock, and Mary Costello have all lost their longtime spouses. In this episode of Lifespan, they describe their spouses’ lives and legacies, their partners’ deaths, and their own adjustment to living in the aftermath of grievous loss. Steve, Renee, and Mary also offer advice to others coping with similarly profound loss.
If you want to view Steve’s wife’s art, you can visit Mary Ellen Croteau’s website at https://www.maryellencroteau.net/.
You can read Renee’s blog at https://reneerocks.blog/.
Personal Stories with a Punch
It is really interesting to take a detailed look at our health care system from the perspective of someone else's experience with it. I loved the first episode "An Accident" and I can't wait to hear more...Please keep the good work coming our way.