JUDY WOODRUFF: More than six million Americans are admitted into hospital intensive care units, or ICUs, each year. Undoubtedly, they are a crucial component of the health care system for treating seriously ill patients and preventing deaths.But some patients also eventually leave the ICU with new complications and problems.Special correspondent Jackie Judd looks at those concerns and an effort to make sure patients are getting the right interventions.
This is my vision for myself
The author of a remarkably varied body of work, May Sarton lives by herself in York, Maine, in a former “summer cottage,” quite isolated, at the end of a long dirt road. The road curves through a well-kept wood ending at “The House by the Sea” (the title of one of her journals). The house, formal in design, is of pale yellow clapboard fronted by a flagstone terrace. It faces, across a rolling meadow, the deep blue of the ocean marked here and there by a line of white foam. It is a late November afternoon and growing cold. The flower beds around the house, running along the fence and at the edge of the terraces, are all banked for winter. Her little Sheltie, Tamas, alerts her to the arrival of a guest, and she comes to greet me at the gate.Possessed of that profound attentiveness characteristic of true charm, May Sarton has, at the same time, an exuberant nature. Her voice, full of inflection and humor, expresses the range of her personality. It has been called a “burnished” voice and it makes for spellbinding poetry readings, which she gives frequently—at places from small New England churches to the Library of Congress, and at colleges everywhere.
EYES ON THE FUTUREInnovation and forward-thinking may be Hawaii’s two biggest exports in 2017. Earlier this month, the state earned the distinction of being the first in the U.S. to formally accept the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the nation from it, and now, Hawaii is taking the lead in embracing yet another innovative idea: universal basic income (UBI).Today, Hawaii state representative Chris Lee wrote a Reddit post about House Concurrent Resolution 89, a bill he says he introduced in order to “start a conversation about our future.” According to Lee, “After much work and with the help of a few key colleagues, it passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously.”
Drugs that have been hailed as a cure for a debilitating and sometimes fatal liver disease – but have threatened to break the health budgets of most countries because of their cost – have not been proven to have any effect, according to a new review.The startling conclusion came from the respected and independent Cochrane Collaboration, which has assessed all the drug company trials of the breakthrough hepatitis C treatments.Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes chronic liver disease and can lead to death from cirrhosis and cancer. Previous treatments were not very effective and had side effects that many patients could not tolerate.
Sentiment and hermitsIn his poem “Old Age,” the poet Ou Yang Hsui (1007-1072) tells briefly of the burdens of getting sick when old: dry, dull eyes, aches, a fuzzy brain dull and forgetful.When I was young I liked to read. Now I am too old to make the effort. Then, too, If I come across something interesting I have no one to talk to about it.In theory, a solitary ought not to miss another’s presence but Ou Yang Hsui’s expression of loneliness is not unusual even among the worldly. Nor is a hermit immune to sentiment.Kenneth Rexroth notes that in fact the Chinese Tang poets inclined to sentiment, especially with advancing age. The poets, male and female, thought of their forties as old age, referring to the first gray hair. By late forties, the course of their days was uncertain, and by fifty the end seemed near. Perhaps given the vagaries of life expectancy in antiquity, this sentiment was not unjustified. Studies of life expectancy in past centuries revised longevity based on survival into adulthood, so that older age was not infrequent, but the poets preferred a different criteria.When the famous recluse Tu Fu (712-770) visited retired scholar Wei Pa, he reflected:We sit here together in the candle light.How much longer will our prime last?Our temple are already grey.I visit my old friendsHalf of them ave become ghosts.Fear and sorrow choke me and burn my bowels
Hero’s journey, hermit’s journeyWednesday, May 17, 2017In his classic book The Hero With a Thousand Faces (1st ed. 1947, 2nd ed. 1970), Joseph Campbell described the hero’s journey in world myths as a “monomyth” insofar as the mythic process, symbols, and paths are universal to world cultures and a foundational aspect of primitive and ancient civilizations and cultures.The hero’s journey begins with the “call to adventure,” the struggle against obstacles and trials, the discovery of the treasure, and the return to share the boon. But across the globe, the myth with its different heroes, settings, thresholds, menaces, boons, and obstacles, reflects the human psyche, the deep plunge into the unconscious, the extracting of courage and fearlessness to pursue self-development, the many obstacles, puzzles, mazes, conundrums encountered, until the breakthrough of the personality into self-discovery and self-actualization.