Creative Writing Projects at the National Aspergillosis Centre


Published on

Caroline is the Writer-in Residence at the National Aspergillosis Centre. We are using creative writing as a means to open up communication between established relationships such as those between clinical professionals and the patient.

Published in: Health & Medicine
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Creative Writing Projects at the National Aspergillosis Centre

  1. 1. Using Creative Projects Caroline HawkridgeArtwork by Sarah Woodward,Stockport CollegeFinalist in Project LIFE schoolscompetition 2012 run byJenny Bartholomew at NAC
  2. 2. Project LIFE artwork competition in schools (Jenny) Exhibition at Manchester Museum, October 2012
  3. 3. Where can we go from here?1. Help to raise public awareness through creative projects with major local Festivals and online2. Help you write and collect stories & poems from patients, carers and staff • for newsletters, leaflets and online? • for the waiting room?
  4. 4. Raising public awareness projectswith…
  5. 5. ‘Open the Windows’ Poetry & Medicine event 2pm, Saturday, October 12
  6. 6. ‘Fungal Friends’ by Chris HarrisThings have been wrong for quite some time.Some days I struggle, some days I’m fine.I’m breathless, tired and ask for testsTo see what is happening with my chest.They tell me I have some fungal sporesBut do not understand the cause,So I ask around and make a fussAnd discover a fungus called Aspergillus.(1 of 5)
  7. 7. I use the clever search engine to find out the facts,Which directs me to experts at a place called “NAC”I ask my doc if he will send me there,Though still want him to share my care.He agrees it would be nice to be helpedTo unravel the mystery that has developed.So he sends me off to visit the teamAnd asks me to tell him what knowledge I glean.(2 of 5)
  8. 8. I meet the doc and tell my taleOf how my strength continues to fail.Fit as a fiddle I used to be,Now I have trouble making tea.My chest is tight and I cough a lot.The nurse then tells me to spit in a pot,For some special test to see what it grows,Funny named fungus that few of us knows.(3 of 5)
  9. 9. What did I do in my fitter days?Cos now they are spent having frequent x-raysBlood tests are taken for more special tests,Which leaves my arm in need of a rest.But although I feel like I want to curseI would be lost without my specialist nurse.The doc keeps an eye on my CT scanTo check and see if my cavity has gone.He sends me away with a cocktail of medicineAnd they ask me to fill their questionnaire in.(4 of 5)
  10. 10. At the start of the month I can meet others like meTo share our experiences over a nice cup of tea.Speakers and staff tells us the latest newsAnd our friends on the web are asked their views.It’s good to know that fungus is widely debated,And makes my family and me feel less isolated.So while I know I have to keep coming back,I’m so glad to be part of the place called “NAC”. Chris Harris, May 2012
  11. 11. ‘Hospital Car Park’ Poem NAC Patient Support Group
  12. 12. Poems in the Waiting Room? Where?
  13. 13. ‘Hope is…’
  14. 14. Hope is…Hope is when someone listens to me,when they hear what I say.Hope is when tomorrow is another dayand not just yesterday again.Hope is my wife’s good night’s sleepand a smile on her face … & its magical!!!!!Hope is daffodils and a bright shining lightat the end of a VERY dark tunnel.Hope is feeling happy or at least normalizedwhen pain goes intolerable.Hope is a street between two cathedrals(especially if you know Liverpool!).Hope is seeing more people laughinginstead of moaning.Hope is the spark for this poem. (1 of 4 )
  15. 15. Hope is the spring that will come soonand bring along the flowers that bloom.Hope is that a solution may be foundto release me from the pain,that there’s better times to come.Hope is having another day to spendwith my children and grandchildren.Hope is my husband and two daughters.Hope is friends out there we can turn tofor ‘been there done that’ advice& ‘this is how I coped with it’.Hope is successful treatmentand seeing tomorrow’s dawn and sunset. (2 of 4)
  16. 16. Hope is ‘the last infirmity of a noble mind’(and someone quoting Milton!).Hope is to do some, to do it yourself,that tomorrow is as good as today.Hope is belief, a higher power.Hope is the name of our doctor’s daughter, Aml.Hope is bright with a smile.Hope is planning my joint birthday partywith its yellow and orange balloonsand the dolls’ tea-party the young childrenare going to have there. (3 of 4 )
  17. 17. Hope is not for today. For today, to get out of bed, is all I can doand its hours and hours before I can lay down my head.But hope is for tomorrow, when all will be welland this is the story I myself will tell.Hope is like the sea that touches every partof our planet no matter where patients live.Together we can build “A SEA OF HOPE”that anyone & Everyone can either diveinto or just “Dip their own toe”.Hope is breathing for many years to come– and Easter eggs at our next group meeting!Aspergillosis Support Group Poem, February 2013written with Caroline Hawkridge, Writer-in-residenceMy congratulations to everyone concerned and special thanks to Khaled and Keith for their inspiration, and to Keith forsharing some precious extra words.