Chapter

Waiting in Crisis

Ruthann Knechel Johansen

in Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231146
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927766 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231146.003.0003
Waiting in Crisis

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The feelings of all Erik's family members were intense after his accident. Erik's sister Sonia had started to keep a diary, in which she intended to record her thoughts and feelings as she experimented with the power of language. She felt a little relaxed when the trauma surgeon who performed emergency surgery at the Camden hospital reported that he had been able to repair the spleen, and that the heart, lungs, and liver seemed not to have been compromised. As Erik's mother directly expressed her love and strength to Erik through touch, to Sonia in words over the phone, and to both in silent meditation, the grip of fear loosened, even if only momentarily. Robert, Erik's father, kept a detailed record of every medical conversation and a list of questions that arose each time he saw Erik. He summarized his observations, and recorded messages from the machines and devices such as the bolt, and from the medical experts in a parent's version of doctors' case notes.

Keywords: emergency surgery; silent meditation; medical conversation; medical experts; grip of fear

Chapter.  10423 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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