Annie Brewster is a practicing internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as the founder and executive director of Health Story Collaborative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using storytelling as a therapeutic tool. She is also a patient, living with multiple sclerosis since 2001.
“Every patient is unique, and there is still so much we don’t know,” writes Dr. Annie Brewster, after relaying a woman’s story navigating the mental health system.
Ultimately, it was a pharmacist who put a stop to Vinnie’s opioid use by refusing to fill his prescription.
Something changed on the finish line at the Boston Marathon in 2013. It was, Jennifer says, “a turning point” in her life, but not in the ways you might expect.
First, my brain images tell a clear story. My disease is progressive. While on the outside I feel great and full of energy, these pictures show me that there is unrest on the inside.
Dr. Annie Brewster’s interview with Sue Levy, a patient with a rare lung disease who also went through an infertility ordeal — but now has two daughters and the wisdom to let go of “how things should be.”
What if you were suddenly diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease just when your life, work and marriage were on track and your plans to start a family were underway?
Dr. Annie Brewster says: “My experience in the health care system — both as a physician and as a patient living with multiple sclerosis — has convinced me that the current practice of medicine squeezes out what is a most essential element of healing: the stories of peoples’ lives.”
In August of 2012, Charlie Atkinson was bitten by a mosquito in the garden outside his home in Cambridge, Mass. From that bite, against the odds, he contracted West Nile Virus. It nearly killed him.
Brook seemed to be developing normally. But at around six months old, she started to regress. Eventually, after a long medical work up, Brook was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease and her mother was told Brook would most likely not live past her third birthday.
Zachary went through puberty twice, first as a girl, then as a boy, after he started taking hormones. He was born female but he has always known, even before he could articulate it, that he is male.